Rocket Lab, ULA and SpaceX Set to Launch Missions on Thursday

Lift-off of the NROL-162 national security mission for the National Reconnaissance Office on Electron from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1. (Photo: Business Wire)

Rocket Lab, United Launch Alliance and SpaceX have launches planned for Thursday, Aug. 4. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will launch South Korea’s first mission to the moon.

Rocket Lab

Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Provider: Rocket Lab
Mission Name: Antipodean Adventure
Payload: NROL-199
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Launch Window: 01:00 EDT/05:00 UTC/17:00 NZST

The NROL-199 mission will carry a national security payload designed, built, and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence as part of a broad range of cooperative satellite activities with Australia. The payload will support the NRO to provide critical information to government agencies and decision makers monitoring international issues.

A ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the USSF-12 mission for the U.S. Space Force lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 7:15 p.m. EDT on July 1. (Credit: United Launch Alliance)

United Launch Alliance

Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
Launch Provider: United Launch Alliance (ULA)
Payload: SBIRS GEO 6
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
Launch Window: 6:29 a.m. EDT/10:29 UTC (40-minute window)

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 421 rocket is launching the sixth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO 6) missile detection and early warning satellite for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC). ULA’s Atlas V rocket will launch SBIRS GEO 6 into a performance optimized geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO). Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (Danuri)


Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9
Launch Provider: SpaceX
Payload: Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (Danuri)
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Fla.
Launch Window: 7:08 p.m. EDT/23:08 UTC

South Korea’s first mission to the moon will survey lunar resources, including water ice, aluminum, helium-3, silicon and uranium. The spacecraft carries six scientific instruments, including NASA’s ShadowCam that will search for water ice in shadowed areas of the moon.