Showing posts with label Rocket Lab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rocket Lab. Show all posts

02 May, 2024

Get ready for another launch from Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab USA, is preparing two back-to-back Electron launches to deploy NASA’s PREFIRE - Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment mission.  The two dedicated missions will each deploy one satellite to a 525km circular orbit from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The first mission – named ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ – is scheduled to launch no earlier than May 22, 2024. The launch date of the second mission – named ‘PREFIRE And Ice’ – will be scheduled to take place within three weeks of the successful deployment of the first PREFIRE mission. The missions will be Rocket Lab’s 48th and 49th Electron launches overall and its sixth and seventh launches of 2024.


NASA’s PREFIRE mission is a climate change-focused mission that will systematically measure the heat, in the form of infrared and far-infrared wavelengths, lost from Earth’s polar regions for the first time. Extreme storms, flooding, and coastal erosion are examples of weather outcomes that are influenced by climate conditions in the Arctic and Antarctica. Once deployed to their separate orbits, the two PREFIRE satellites will criss-cross over the Arctic and Antarctica measuring thermal infrared radiation – the same type of energy emitted from a heat lamp – that will make climate models more accurate and help predict changes caused by global warming. PREFIRE consists of two 6U CubeSats with a baseline mission length of 10 months.

01 May, 2024

Rocket Lab gets ready for back-to-back launches for climate change research mission

Rocket Lab USA, is preparing two back-to-back Electron launches to deploy NASA’s PREFIRE - Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment mission.  The two dedicated missions will each deploy one satellite to a 525km circular orbit from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand. The first mission – named ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ – is scheduled to launch no earlier than May 22, 2024. The launch date of the second mission – named ‘PREFIRE And Ice’ – will be scheduled to take place within three weeks of the successful deployment of the first PREFIRE mission. The missions will be Rocket Lab’s 48th and 49th Electron launches overall and its sixth and seventh launches of 2024.


NASA’s PREFIRE mission is a climate change-focused mission that will systematically measure the heat, in the form of infrared and far-infrared wavelengths, lost from Earth’s polar regions for the first time. Extreme storms, flooding, and coastal erosion are examples of weather outcomes that are influenced by climate conditions in the Arctic and Antarctica. Once deployed to their separate orbits, the two PREFIRE satellites will criss-cross over the Arctic and Antarctica measuring thermal infrared radiation – the same type of energy emitted from a heat lamp – that will make climate models more accurate and help predict changes caused by global warming. PREFIRE consists of two 6U CubeSats with a baseline mission length of 10 months.

03 April, 2024

Rocket Lab prepares to launch mission for KAIST and NASA to deploy satellites to two separate orbits

Rocket Lab USA has set the launch window for its next Electron launch.


The ‘Beginning Of The Swarm’ mission is scheduled to launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand during a 14-day launch window that opens on April 24th. Electron will carry two satellites for two separate customers: NEONSAT-1, an Earth observation satellite for the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), and NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3).

The launch will broadcast live at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream


The primary payload for this mission, NEONSAT-1, is an Earth observation satellite with a high-resolution optical camera designed to monitor for natural disasters along the Korean Peninsula by pairing its images with artificial intelligence. NEONSAT-1 is the first satellite developed under the NEONSAT program by SaTReC and KAIST, Korea’s leading university in science and technology, which developed and operated Korea’s very first satellite KITSAT-1 more than 30 years ago. Other NEONSAT satellites are planned to be launched in 2026 and 2027 to build out the NEONSAT constellation. The program is a collaboration across multiple Korean academic, industry, and research institutions including SaTReC in KAIST, which is leading the program’s system design and engineering; the SaTReC Initiative, a Korean satellite manufacturer that has successfully developed seven previous remote sensing satellites for low Earth orbit; and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), which is managing the mission’s ground segments and technology supervision for the NEONSAT program. NEONSAT is funded by the Koren government’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT).

13 March, 2024

Rocket Lab successfully launches 45th Electron mission for Synspective

Rocket Lab USA, a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched its 45th Electron rocket, successfully deploying a fourth synthetic aperture radar satellite to Synspective’s Earth-observation constellation.

“Owl Night Long,” a dedicated mission for Synspective, launched from Pad B at Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 04:03 NZDT on March 13, 2024 (15:03 UTC, March 12). The mission delivered a single spacecraft, the StriX-3 satellite, to a 561km Sun Synchronous Orbit, where it joined Synspective’s growing constellation.

Rocket Lab has been the sole launch provider for Synspective’s constellation, previously delivering three satellites across launches in September 2022, February 2022, and December 2020. Rocket Lab will launch two more missions for Synspective as part of a multi-launch agreement signed in 2023.

23 February, 2024

Rocket Lab to launch NRO mission from Wallops, Virginia

The mission will be Rocket Lab’s first NRO launch from Wallops, Virginia, following four previous successful launches for the agency from New Zealand 


Rocket Lab USA, a global leader in launch services and space systems, announced it will launch a dedicated mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia, during a launch window that opens March 20th, 2024.   

The NROL-123 mission, called ‘Live and Let Fly’, will be Rocket Lab’s first launch for the NRO from the United States after previously launching four NRO missions from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. It will be Rocket Lab’s 4thmission from Launch Complex 2, a dedicated pad for the Electron rocket located at Virginia Spaceport Authority's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.  

Rocket Lab schedules launch date for 45th Electron Mission........

Rocket Lab USA,  a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced the launch window for its 45th Electron launch, a dedicated mission for Synspective, a Japanese Earth-imaging satellite constellation operator.

The “Owl Night Long” mission is scheduled to launch during a 14-day window that opens on March 10th NZDT (March 9th UTC). The mission will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand and will deploy a StriX-3 satellite to orbit, continuing a multi-launch agreement to deliver Synspective’s StriX-series satellites to low Earth orbit.

Rocket Lab has been the exclusive launch provider for Synspective to date and the “Owl Night Long” mission will be Rocket Lab’s fourth launch for the constellation operator following launches in 2020 and 2022:

The Owls’ Night Begins: Launched December 2020
The Owl’s Night Continues: Launched February 2022
The Owl Spreads its Wings: Launched September 2022

Synspective is a satellite data solutions provider with its own constellation of SAR satellites. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is an active system that transmits microwave pulses toward the Earth's surface and receives the reflected signals to create an image of the target area. Unlike other imaging technologies, SAR can penetrate clouds and other atmospheric conditions, enabling it to collect data day or night with frequent revisit rates.

10 January, 2024

Rocket Lab USA has set the launch window for its first mission of 2024.

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has set the launch window for its first mission of 2024.

Rocket Lab will also attempt to recover Electron’s first stage from the mission in next step for reusability.


The ‘Four of a Kind’ mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than January 18 between 19:15-20:00 NZT (January 18 between 06:15-07:00 UTC) from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission will deploy four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites for Spire Global, Inc’s (Spire) customer NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar). NorthStar´s satellites, built and operated by Spire, will be the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering a radically enhanced level of SSA services to the global satellite community, with timely and precise information for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.

As a secondary mission, Rocket Lab will be attempting to splash down and retrieve Electron’s first stage as part of the Company’s plan to evolve Electron into a reusable rocket. After launch and stage separation, Electron’s first stage will return to Earth under a parachute and splash down in the Pacific Ocean several hundred kilometers down range from Launch Complex 1. Rocket Lab’s recovery vessel will extract the stage from the water for transportation back to Rocket Lab’s production complex where it will undergo detailed analysis. Rocket Lab is not launching any pre-flown engines as part of this mission.

“With each recovery mission we iterate toward Electron reusability and with recent launches we’ve made significant leaps forward with more successful splashdowns, recoveries and the first launch of a pre-flown Rutherford engine,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “We’re looking forward to putting advanced heat-shielding and waterproofing systems to the test on this mission as one of the final steps before re-flying an entire first stage. To launch an advanced mission like this with Spire as a mission partner is a real privilege, as they were on our very first orbital mission in 2018. To be partnered up again and both still pushing boundaries with new technology and capabilities all these years later is a great full circle moment.”

16 December, 2023

Rocket Lab Reaches New Annual Launch Record with 10th Electron Mission This Year


The mission successfully deployed a satellite for Japan-based Earth imaging company Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc.


Rocket Lab a global leader in launch services and space systems, today successfully launched its 42nd Electron rocket and deployed a satellite for Japan-based Earth imaging company the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS). The mission was Rocket Lab’s 10th Electron launch for the year, surpassing the Company’s previous annual record of nine launches in 2022. For the fifth year in a row, Electron has retained the title of the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually.

The mission, named “The Moon God Awakens”, launched from Pad B at Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 17:05 NZDT / 04:05 UTC on December 15th. Named after the Japanese God of the Moon, the iQPS-SAR-5 satellite “TSUKUYOMI-I” is a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite that will collect high-resolution images of Earth. The satellite joins another iQPS satellite already in orbit and forms part of what will eventually be a 36-satellite constellation capable of monitoring Earth at specific fixed points every 10 minutes.

15 June, 2023

Rocket Lab Spacecraft built for Varda successfully operating in orbit

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. a global leader in launch services and space systems announced this week that its spacecraft for Varda Space Industries, a leading in-space manufacturing and hypersonic re-entry logistics company, is successfully operating in orbit after launching from Vandenberg Space Force Base on Tuesday's SpaceX’s Transporter-8 mission at 14:35 local time. 

The spacecraft was developed, manufactured, and tested at Rocket Lab’s Spacecraft Production Facility in Long Beach, California, and it incorporates Rocket Lab-designed and manufactured components and software including star trackers, propulsion system, reaction wheels, solar panels, flight software, radios, composite structures and tanks, and separation systems.

Now successfully operating on orbit, the spacecraft will provide power, communications, propulsion, and attitude control to Varda’s 120kg capsule that will produce pharmaceutical products in microgravity and return them to Earth. Upon completion of the in-space manufacturing phase of Varda’s mission, Rocket Lab’s spacecraft will place Varda’s hypersonic re-entry capsule (carrying finished pharmaceuticals on board) on a return trajectory to Earth. The spacecraft is the first of four ordered by Varda to support in-space pharmaceutical manufacturing, with the second spacecraft currently undergoing assembly, integration, and testing.

16 May, 2023

Rocket Lab Sets Date for Second NASA TROPICS Launch to Deploy Storm Monitoring Constellation

Rocket Lab USA,  a leading launch and space systems company, is preparing for the second of two dedicated Electron launches to deploy a constellation of storm monitoring satellites for NASA.

The launch, called ‘Coming To A Storm Near You,’ is scheduled for lift-off no earlier than 17:30 on May 22nd NZST from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The launch follows on from the successful ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane’ Electron launch on May 8th 2023, which deployed the first two CubeSats of NASA’s TROPICS constellation. The ‘Coming To A Storm Near You’ launch will deploy the final two TROPICS CubeSats, completing the constellation.

Rocket Lab is preparing to launch the second half of NASA’s TROPICS satellite constellation as early as May 22, just two weeks after successfully completing the first launch


The TROPICS constellation (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) will monitor the formation and evolution of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, and will provide rapidly updating observations of storm intensity. This data will help scientists better understand the processes that affect these high-impact storms, ultimately leading to improved modelling and prediction. The constellation, which is part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program, consists of four CubeSats that require launch to a specific orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometres and inclination of about 30 degrees. All four satellites need to be deployed into their operational orbit within a 60-day period.

17 March, 2023

Rocket Lab successfully launches 34th Electron Rocket.



Rocket Lab USA, a leading launch and space systems company has announced it has successfully launched its 34th Electron rocket and second mission from its launch site on Wallops Island, Virginia deploying two spacecraft to low Earth orbit for Capella Space.

he “Stronger Together” mission lifted off at 22:38 UTC, March 16 2023 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Rocket Lab successfully deployed two 100-kg class Capella Space satellites to low Earth orbit.

"Congratulations to Capella Space and well done to the Rocket Lab team for another flawless launch from Virginia,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “This year we’re really picking up the launch pace so while one Electron was on the pad at Launch Complex 2 for Capella Space, the team in New Zealand has been preparing the next rocket at Launch Complex 1 to enable two launches from two continents within days of each other. Dedicated and responsive space access for small sats is here now, made possible by Electron.”

01 March, 2023

Rocket Lab plans two launches from two continents this month

Rocket Lab USA, a leading launch and space systems company, today announced it is preparing to launch two dedicated missions in March from the Company’s launch sites in the United States and New Zealand - within days of each other.

One Electron rocket is ready and in position at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand to deploy satellites for Spaceflight Inc. customer BlackSky, a real-time geospatial intelligence company. Meanwhile, a second rocket is simultaneously undergoing final launch preparations at Launch Complex 2 in Virginia to deploy satellites for American space tech company Capella Space, the world’s leading provider of commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery.

Both launches are scheduled to take place in March with the launch windows to be finalized based on individual customer and range requirements; however, both missions are expected to launch within days of each other. Capella Space’s two satellites have been integrated to Electron at Launch Complex 2 and are ready for launch, while BlackSky’s two satellites are undergoing final check outs before integration to Electron at Launch Complex 1. Rocket Lab has also completed a Wet Dress Rehearsal at Launch Complex 2 and the mission is now awaiting range clearances from NASA and the FAA to proceed with launch. Meanwhile, Launch Complex 1’s Wet Dress Rehearsal is scheduled to take place in the coming days.

Running simultaneous launch campaigns across two continents once again demonstrates Rocket Lab’s ability to deliver responsive and flexible launch solutions to the small satellite market. The upcoming missions are expected to best Rocket Lab’s previous launch turnaround record set at Launch Complex 1 in 2022 when Rocket Lab launched the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA followed by a dedicated mission for the National Reconnaissance Office 15 days later.

10 February, 2023

Rocket Lab offers new products for small satellites

Rocket Lab USA, Inc, a global leader in launch services and space systems, has released two new high-performance space systems products designed to increase the availability of essential satellite components to the global small satellite market.

Bolstering the Company’s existing line of proven satellite components, the new Rocket Lab products include the Frontier-X software-defined radio designed to provide high-speed data for both near-Earth and deep space small satellite missions, as well as a new 12Nms reaction wheel designed specifically for constellation class satellites.

The products join Rocket Lab’s existing heritage space systems components including star trackers, reaction wheels, separation systems, radios, flight software, ground software, and solar power solutions. Combined, Rocket Lab’s space systems components have supported more than 1,700 space missions to date.

Enabling Small Sat Deep Space Missions With Frontier-X Satellite Radio

25 January, 2023

Rocket Lab Successfully Launches First Electron Mission from U.S. Soil

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. a leading launch and space systems company, today successfully launched its 33rd Electron rocket and first mission from Virginia. The “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” mission lifted off at 18:00 EST on January 24th from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 (LC-2) at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. The mission deployed three satellites to a 550km orbit for leading radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360. Rocket Lab has now successfully deployed a total of 155 satellites to orbit from the Company’s three launch pads across the U.S. and New Zealand.

The mission was Rocket Lab’s 33rd Electron mission overall, but the first launched from U.S. soil, introducing a new responsive launch capability to the nation

The successful launch from LC-2 marks the beginning of a new era of responsive launch capability for small satellites from U.S. soil. Built with support from Virginia Space, the Commonwealth of Virginia and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 is designed to serve the responsive space needs of commercial, civil, defense, and national security customers, supporting up to 12 missions per year. Combined with Rocket Lab’s private Launch Complex 1 site in New Zealand, the Company’s launch sites can support more than 130 launch opportunities every year, delivering flexibility and rapid launch capability for customers.

“Electron is already the leading small orbital rocket globally, and today’s perfect mission from a new pad is testament to our team’s unrelenting commitment to mission success,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “After our busiest launch year yet in 2022 with nine successful missions, what better way to kick off the new year than by launching Virginia-built spacecraft from a Virginia launch site, enabled by our rapidly growing Virginia-based team. This mission has been a real team effort. Thanks to the consistent support of NASA, Virginia Space, the FAA, the Commonwealth and our mission partner HawkEye 360, Rocket Lab is proud to bring a reliable and responsive new launch capability to Virginia’s Eastern Shore.”

“We are grateful to share in the success of today’s launch. Our sixth trio of satellites and our first mid-latitude satellite cluster will broaden the scope of our geospatial insights for our partners around the world,” said HawkEye 360 CEO, John Serafini. “This also marks our first launch in our home state of Virginia, making today’s success even more meaningful. We look forward to a fruitful partnership with Rocket Lab and Virginia Space in the months and years ahead.”

The launch of Electron from the NASA-controlled Wallops Flight Facility also marked the introduction of the agency’s autonomous flight termination capability, known as NAFTU (NASA Autonomous Flight Termination Unit). While Rocket Lab has successfully flown its own autonomous system on Electron missions since 2019, NASA developed NAFTU in conjunction with this launch to provide a common system for flight termination for a wide array of launch vehicles at any launch range. Autonomous flight termination capability now being in operation at Wallops can provide faster and cheaper access to space for small satellites by enabling wider launch windows, smaller launch safety corridors, and reduced reliance on ground-based systems.

“We are honored to support the launch of this historic mission,” said Ted Mercer, CEO and Executive Director of Virginia Space. “In addition to being Rocket Lab’s first and only U.S. launch location, we will also be building rockets and processing their payload right here in Accomack County – something that has never been done in Virginia. Our partnership with Rocket Lab is a unique opportunity for the Commonwealth of Virginia to create long-term economic development opportunities in the form of high-paying jobs, launch viewing tourism, and construction of new facilities on the Eastern Shore.”

The “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” mission was the first of three Electron launches for HawkEye 360 in a contract that will see Rocket Lab deliver 15 satellites to low Earth orbit in 2023 and 2024. These missions will grow HawkEye 360’s constellation of radio frequency monitoring satellites, enabling the company to better deliver precise geolocation of radio frequency emissions anywhere in the world. Supporting Rocket Lab’s vertical integration strategy, Rocket Lab will also supply HawkEye 360 with separation systems produced by Planetary Systems Corporation, a Maryland-based space hardware company acquired by Rocket Lab in December 2021.

Virginia is the first U.S. launch location of the Electron launch vehicle, but it will also be home to the Company’s new larger launch vehicle Neutron, which will be built, tested, launched, and landed within the Wallops Flight Facility in the future. Construction is underway of the Neutron Production Complex as development of the new rocket progresses, thanks to the continuous support from the Commonwealth and Virginia Space.











18 December, 2022

Rocket Lab Prepares to Launch First Mission from Wallops Island

Rocket Lab USA,  a leading launch and space systems company, is preparing to launch the Company’s first Electron mission from U.S. soil on December 18 between 6-8pm ET. The mission will take place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility – a launch pad developed to support U.S. Electron missions for government and commercial customers.

The “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” mission will deploy three satellites for radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360. The mission is the first of three Electron launches for HawkEye 360 in a contract that will see Rocket Lab deliver 15 satellites to low Earth orbit between late 2022 and 2024. These missions will grow HawkEye 360’s constellation of radio frequency monitoring satellites, enabling the company to better deliver precise geolocation of radio frequency emissions anywhere in the world.

While “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” will be Electron’s first launch from the U.S., Rocket Lab has already conducted 32 Electron missions from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, delivering 152 satellites to orbit for customers including NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office, DARPA, the U.S. Space Force and a range of commercial constellation operators. Electron is already the most frequently launched small orbital rocket globally and now with the capacity of the pads at Launch Complex 1 and 2 combined, Rocket Lab has more than 130 Electron launch opportunities every year.

The launch window extends through December 19 to allow for weather or technical delays if required. Follow Rocket Lab on Twitter (@RocketLab) for real time mission updates.

Where to watch launch:

Launch fans eager to watch Electron take to Virginia skies for the first time can visit viewing locations including Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Atlantic beaches also provide good viewing locations. The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will be open for this launch. A live launch webcast will also be available at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream from around T-40 minutes.








07 November, 2022

Rocket Lab Successfully Deploys 152nd Satellite

Lift-off of Rocket Lab's 32nd Electron mission, Catch Me If You Can (Photo: Business Wire)
Rocket Lab USA has successfully launched its 32nd Electron mission to deploy its 152nd satellite to orbit, a science payload for the Swedish National Space Agency. The MATS satellite was deployed to its 585km circular orbit by Electron following lift-off at 17:27 UTC.

“Congratulations to the teams at OHB Sweden and the Swedish National Space Agency on their mission,” says Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “It’s been a long journey for MATS, so I’m proud of the Rocket Lab team for doing their part to support this mission with a fast contract-to-orbit turnaround of just four months.”

The “Catch Me If You Can” mission also resulted in a successful ocean splashdown of the Electron rocket’s first stage. Rocket Lab had planned to attempt amid-air capture of Electron’s first stage with a helicopter if conditions allowed, however not all requirements were met to ensure a successful capture. Due to a brief telemetry loss with Electron’s first stage during its atmospheric re-entry, the helicopter was moved out of the capture zone per standard safety procedure. The Electron first stage completed a safe splashdown and Rocket Lab’s recovery vessel is now alongside the stage to bring it onboard and back to Rocket Lab’s production facility for inspection and analysis.

Rocket Lab opens Archimedes Engine test stand at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi

Rocket Lab's Vice President of Launch Systems, Shaun D'Mello, Senator Roger Wicker, Stennis Space Center Director Dr. Richard Gilbrech, and Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith participated
 in a ribbon cutting to kick off operations at Rocket Lab's Archimedes Test Complex for the Neutron launch vehicle at Stennis Space Center. (Photo: Business Wire)

The complex located at the Center’s A-3 Test Stand will be used to develop and test the Archimedes reusable engines, fast-tracking Rocket Lab’s development of the Neutron launch vehicle.



The Archimedes Test Complex is located across a 1 million square foot area at the Stennis Space Center’s A Test Complex and includes use and development of existing infrastructure of the A-3 Test Stand to develop and test Neutron’s Archimedes engines. With the opening of the Archimedes Test Complex, Rocket Lab will be able to create dozens of new jobs and make significant capital investments in the state of Mississippi.

Neutron is Rocket Lab’s reusable rocket in development, designed as a cost-effective, reliable, and responsive launch service to help build mega-constellations, deliver large spacecraft to low-Earth orbit, the geostationary orbit, and interplanetary destination. Neutron is also being designed to be human spaceflight capable in future.

Rocket Lab Founder and CEO, Peter Beck, says: “It was only a few weeks ago when we announced Stennis as the location of our Archimedes Test Complex and we’re already fast at work to get the site up and running to deliver Neutron. Thanks to our partnership with NASA and the state of Mississippi, we can begin to develop the existing infrastructure and test stand at Stennis to fast-track Neutron’s first launch. We look forward to breathing fire in the great state of Mississippi.”

20 September, 2022

Spaceflight Inc. and Rocket Factory Partner to Fly Sherpa OTVs on Future RFA Launches from Europe

Spaceflight Inc. and Rocket Factory Partner to Fly Sherpa OTVs on Future RFA Launches from Europe (Graphic: Business Wire)
Spaceflight Inc. and Rocket Factory Partner to Fly Sherpa OTVs on Future RFA Launches from Europe (Graphic: Business Wire)

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At the International Astronautical Congress 2022 (IAC), Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, today announced it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for upcoming launches with Rocket Factory Augsburg AG (RFA). The agreement formalizes the plan for Spaceflight to fly its Sherpa® orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) and other rideshare payloads on upcoming RFA missions from a variety of European launch sites, including from facilities in the United Kingdom, French Guiana and others. The companies are targeting mid-2024 for their first launch.

“The demand for access to cost-effective, last-mile delivery launches is growing rapidly from customers with payloads of all sizes and types,” said Curt Blake, CEO and president of Spaceflight. “Having many different launch options across different price points, orbital destinations, and facility locations is very important to our savvy spacecraft developer customers. RFA brings increased price competitiveness and launch frequency from many different launch locations throughout Europe. We’re looking forward to extending our launch vehicle portfolio for Sherpa OTVs and rideshare services to now include RFA ONE, and wish them well on their upcoming maiden flight.”

16 August, 2022

Rocket Lab to launch 150th satellite......

Rocket Lab USA, has announced this week that its upcoming 30th Electron launch will deliver its 150th payload and 300th Rutherford engine to space. The mission is a dedicated launch for Japanese Earth-imaging satellite constellation operator Synspective.

“The Owl Spreads Its Wings” mission is scheduled to lift-off from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand during a launch window opening in mid-September. The mission is the second of a bulk buy of three Electron launches by Synspective to deliver their StriX satellites to low Earth orbit. StriX-1 is Synspective’s first commercial satellite for its synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite constellation to deliver imagery that can detect millimetre-level changes to the Earth’s surface from space, independent of weather conditions on Earth and at any time of the day or night. “The Owl Spreads Its Wings” will be Rocket Lab’s third mission for Synspective after successful launches in December 2020 and February 2022.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, says: “From launching Synspective’s first demonstration spacecraft to now helping to build their SAR constellation with this launch of their first commercial StriX satellite, it’s an honour to once again be the trusted launch partner for Synspective. As the sole payload on this dedicated Electron launch, Synspective are able to build their constellation to a specific LTAN (Local Time of the Ascending Node) that couldn’t be achieved if StriX was launched on a rideshare mission with other satellites – a highly important differentiator when building a new satellite constellation.”




The mission for Synspective will mark a series of company milestones for Rocket Lab.


30th Electron launch


“The Owl Spreads Its Wings” mission will be Rocket Lab’s 30th launch of its Electron rocket. From its first launch in 2017, Electron quickly made regular and reliable launch to space accessible for small satellites. As the United States’ second most-frequently launched rocket, with this mission Electron will have successfully launched to orbit more times in 2022 than all other small launch providers combined.

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