Rocket Lab Launches 107th Satellite To Orbit, Successfully Tests Helicopter Recovery Operations

Electron launches from New Zealand on Nov. 18, 2021. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

MAHIA, New Zealand. 18 November 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB), a leading launch and space systems company, has successfully deployed two satellites to orbit for real-time geospatial monitoring company BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY). Rocket Lab also successfully introduced helicopter operations to a recovery mission for the first time, using a helicopter to observe and track the Electron rocket’s first stage as it descended to Earth under parachute as part of the company’s program to make Electron the world’s first reusable, orbital-class commercial small rocket.

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Spaceflight Inc. Readies 13 Payloads and Chemical Propulsion OTV for First Multi-Destination Rideshare Mission

Rendering of Spaceflight Inc.’s Sherpa-LTC1 orbital transfer vehicle. (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, Nov. 9, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) —Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, announced today it will be launching 13 customer payloads, including four microsatellites and nine CubeSats to Sun Synchronous orbit (SSO) aboard the SpaceX Transporter-3 mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than January 2022 from Cape Canaveral. On this mission, which the company has dubbed ‘SXRS-6,’ Spaceflight will deploy customer spacecraft to two distinct orbits for the first time using its chemical propulsion orbital transfer vehicle (OTV), Sherpa-LTC1. Capping a momentous year for Spaceflight, this mission will be the third debut of a new class of Sherpa vehicles within 12 months. 

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Kleos Commits to Build and Launch Fourth Satellite Cluster; Contracts Signed with Proposed Launch in Mid-2022

Credit: Kleos Space
  • Fourth Kleos cluster, ‘Observer Mission’ (KSF3) to be launched, increasing data collection capacity.
    • Adding up to a further 119 million km2 collect capacity per day over key areas across multiple payloads & orbits.
  • Contract placed with launch services provider Spaceflight to launch Kleos’ fourth satellite cluster mid-2022 on a SpaceX rideshare launch.
  • Innovative Solutions in Space engaged to build and support the Observer Mission satellites.
  • New satellite cluster funded by successful A$12.6 million raise to grow constellation. 

LUXEMBOURG (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A (ASX:KSS, Frankfurt:KS1, Kleos or Company), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, has signed new contracts with satellite builder Innovative Solutions in Space B.V. (ISISPACE) and global launch services provider Spaceflight Inc to build and manage the launch its fourth satellite cluster of four satellites, the Observer Mission (KSF3) mid-2022.

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Delivering Fuel in Geostationary Orbit, Via the Moon

Credit: Orbit Fab

SAN FRANCISCO, September 24, 2021 (Orbit Fab PR) — Already the leading supplier of refueling ports for satellites, Orbit Fab announced that it will soon be launching the first propellant tanker to geostationary orbit. The company’s second tanker will establish flight heritage on all the elements of the company’s tanker technology, which has been designed for the harshest orbital regimes and for refueling the largest space assets. This announcement comes on the heels of the company’s successful launch of the world’s first Gas Stations in SpaceTM propellant depot last June into a low Earth orbit.

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Spaceflight Inc.’s New Launch Contracts Bolster Growth of Space Infrastructure

New OTV missions seed infrastructure for situational awareness, IoT communications and fuel depots throughout LEO, GEO and cislunar

SEATTLE, Sept. 21, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced it has recently signed several new launch agreements with a wide range of organizations that are expanding space infrastructure. The satellite constellations provide communications networks, device connectivity, weather forecasts, Earth observation, analytics networks, spacecraft collision avoidance, propellant depots, and more. Spaceflight is actively planning several Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) missions to support these efforts in low Earth orbit (LEO), Geosynchronous Equatorial orbit (GEO) and other cislunar destinations.

Notably, Spaceflight has signed new launch deals with Astrocast, Canon Electronics, Capella Space, GeoJump, HawkEye 360, Orbit Fab, Loft Orbital, NASA, NearSpace Launch Inc. / Inter-Modal Holding LLC, Portland State Aerospace Society, Space Products and Innovation (SPiN), Spacemanic, University of Toronto Aerospace Team, Xona Space Systems, and several undisclosed U.S. government organizations.

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Spaceflight Announces Rideshare Mission to the Moon

Sherpa EScape (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, Sept. 14, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leader in global launch services, today announced a breakthrough cislunar rideshare mission: “GEO Pathfinder.” As a secondary payload on board Intuitive Machines’ IM-2 South Pole Mission, Spaceflight will execute rideshare deployments in trans-lunar orbit, low-lunar orbit and beyond to geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO). Spaceflight will utilize a lunar flyby with its new propulsive transfer vehicle, Sherpa EScape (Sherpa-ES), to deliver a payload from GeoJump, a new company dedicated to providing smallsat rideshare opportunities to GEO, that will also contain an Orbit Fab in-space fueling payload. The mission is slated to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 no earlier than Q4 2022. 

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Spaceflight Inc. Achieves 100% Mission Success for SXRS-5, Including Post Deployment Thruster Ignition of Its Electric Propulsion OTV

Sherpa variants (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., August 24, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — During the 36th Space Symposium being held this week, Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, announced it achieved 100% mission success for both its primary and secondary missions for SXRS-5, including the commissioning and successful firing of Astra’s Apollo Fusion electric propulsion system to enable orbital transfers. The mission, which launched on June 30 aboard SpaceX’s Transporter-2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, featured two of the company’s innovative next-generation Sherpa orbital transfer vehicles (OTVs) — Sherpa-LTE1 and Sherpa-FX2.  

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IM-2 South Pole Mission Adds Secondary Rideshare Opportunity via Spaceflight Inc.

Nova-C lander on the lunar surface. (Credit: Intuitive Machines)

HOUSTON (Intuitive Machines PR) — Intuitive Machines has partnered with global launch services provider Spaceflight Inc. to provide secondary rideshare services on its upcoming IM-2 South Pole Mission, scheduled to launch no earlier than December 2022.

Utilizing the excess capacity on Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lunar lander, Spaceflight Inc. will offer rideshare opportunities onboard its next-gen Sherpa Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) for deployment into trans-lunar and low-lunar orbits and beyond to geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO).

IM-2 South Pole Mission includes a Nova-C class lander to land 130 kg of payloads on the lunar surface. It also has excess capacity on the launch vehicle that delivers 1000 kg of payloads on an Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) ring into a direct throw high energy orbit. This high-energy ESPA “rideshare” option allows customers to proceed to lunar capture quickly, redirect to points elsewhere in high Earth orbit, or depart for destinations in the solar system with less demand on their propulsion.

Rocket Lab to Launch Three Back-To-Back Missions for BlackSky from late August

Electron launches with 10 satellites on Oct. 29, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

The next Electron rocket on the pad is the first of three dedicated missions for BlackSky scheduled for lift-off from late August through September.

LONG BEACH, Calif., August 10, 2021 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, a leading launch provider and space systems company, has today announced its next mission is part of a rapid launch schedule of three dedicated Electron missions for global monitoring provider BlackSky.

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Spaceflight Inc.’s Next-Gen Sherpa OTV Program Showcases Innovative Modular Design of its Flight-Proven Subsystems

Next-gen Sherpa OTV (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE, June 7, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc. PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the leading global launch services provider, will debut newly developed technical innovations utilized for its next-generation Sherpa program, enabling small satellite transportation throughout cislunar space in a way that has never been accomplished before. Intentionally architected with modular plug-and-play subsystems, Spaceflight’s next-gen Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) program offers customers flexibility and customization, including multiple types of propulsion for last-mile delivery, flight-proven avionics and separation sequencers, rich deployment telemetry and imaging systems, direct space-to-ground networks, and more. Based on a standardized 24” ESPA port, the Sherpa OTVs offer a reconfigurable 300 kilogram payload capacity and are sized to launch on most rockets.

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Spaceflight Inc. Readies the Next of Four Dedicated Electron Launches for BlackSky

By providing a mix of both traditional rideshare and dedicated options, launch services provider delivers maximum flexibility for BlackSky’s growing constellation

SEATTLE, May 4, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc.) — Global launch services provider Spaceflight Inc. recently secured four dedicated Rocket Lab launches on behalf of its customer, BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services. Spaceflight will provide the integration and launch services for eight BlackSky smallsats across four dedicated Electron missions throughout 2021. The agreement also includes options for an additional two dedicated missions on Electron in Q4 2021.

The first of these four dedicated missions is scheduled to launch in May 2021 from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission, called “Running Out of Toes” by Rocket Lab and “RL-7” by Spaceflight to signify its seventh mission with Rocket Lab, will carry two 55-kilogram class BlackSky smallsats to low Earth orbit. The following three dedicated launches under contract will each take two more BlackSky satellites, furthering BlackSky’s goal to launch nine satellites in 2021.

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Rocket Lab Launches 19th Electron Mission

Photon CAPSTONE spacecraft (Credit: Rocket Lab)

The successful rideshare mission brings the total count of satellites deployed by Rocket Lab to 104.

LONG BEACH, Calif.. 23 March 2022 (Rocket Lab PR)  – Rocket Lab, a leading launch provider and space systems company, has successfully launched its 19th Electron mission and deployed six spacecraft to orbit for a range of government and commercial customers. The mission, named ‘They Go Up So Fast,’ also deployed Rocket Lab’s latest in-house manufactured Photon spacecraft to build flight heritage ahead of the upcoming CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA.

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Rocket Lab Set for 19th Electron Launch

Electron launches with OHB satellite. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

Rocket Lab Launch Update

Mission Name: They Go Up So Fast
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Window: No Earlier than 23 March NZT/22 March UTC
Launch Time: No earlier than 11:20 am NZT/22:20 UTC/6:20 p.m. EDT
Launch Site: Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Rocket Lab’s 19th Electron mission will deploy a range of satellites for commercial and government satellite operators, as well as place a next-generation Rocket Lab Photon spacecraft in orbit to build spacecraft heritage ahead of Rocket Lab’s mission to the Moon for NASA later this year. 

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Spaceflight Inc. Awarded NASA LLITED Launch Contract

Sherpa variants (Credit: Spaceflight Inc.)

SEATTLE (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced today it has been awarded a launch service contract for the integration and launch of NASA’s LLITED mission, two 1.5U spacecraft. Spaceflight Inc. will transport the NASA Low-Latitude Ionosphere/Thermosphere Enhancements in Density (LLITED) CubeSats to low Earth orbit on its Sherpa-LTC orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) at the end of the year aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9. For this mission, the Sherpa-LTC, which uses chemical propulsion from Benchmark Space Systems, will make its initial spacecraft deployments and then ignite and maneuver to another orbital destination to deploy the NASA CubeSats.

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Spaceflight Inc. Signs Multiple Launch Agreements to Start 2021, Leveraging Its Success Managing Both “Bus and Taxi” Smallsat Launches

SHERPA (Spaceflight Inc.)

Company reveals more dedicated launches, propulsive OTVs, and GTO/lunar missions to satisfy growing demand for flexible and comprehensive launch services

SEATTLE, March 3, 2021 (Spaceflight Inc.) — Spaceflight Inc., the global launch services provider, announced it has started the year by signing several significant launch agreements with a wide range of organizations, including growing constellations needing routine and reliable launch schedules, smaller payloads requiring affordable bus-like options to popular orbits, firms needing regulatory and logistical guidance, as well as those seeking a personalized taxi service from loading dock to final orbital destination.

Organizations that recently signed launch deals with Spaceflight include Lynk, Astro Digital, Kleos, BlackSky, Umbra, Orbit Fab and several undisclosed U.S. government payloads.

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