- Parabolic Arc
- March 29, 2023
Rocket Lab Successfully Launches Second of Two Back-to-Back National Reconnaissance Office Missions
- Today’s launch of the NROL-199 national security mission marks Rocket Lab’s third successful launch in just over five weeks.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab USA, Inc. PR) — Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, has successfully launched its second of two back-to-back national security missions for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
The NROL-199 “Antipodean Adventure” mission launched on the Electron rocket from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 at 05:00 UTC, August 4, 2022 carrying a payload designed, built, and operated by the NRO in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence. This mission follows the successful delivery to orbit of its predecessor NROL-162 three weeks earlier, launched on the “Wise One Looks Ahead” mission on July 13, 2022. These national security missions, combined with the successful launch of the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA on June 28, 2022, make up a record launch cadence for the Company of three successful Electron launches in just over five weeks.
The turnaround between NROL-162 and today’s NROL-199 launch is the shortest time between national security missions by a small launch provider, setting a new standard in responsive space. This streamlined approach to launch is backed by Rocket Lab’s two launch pads at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, the Company’s private launch site, which can support up to 120 launches per year. With three launch pads across sites in New Zealand and the United States; dedicated range and mission control centres; and a highly experienced team, Rocket Lab is uniquely positioned to deliver responsive space capability to the national security community.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, says: “We’re proud to be delivering responsive space capability to the national security community and we’re grateful to the NRO for entrusting us with their missions once again. Our team is focused on relentless execution for our customers and delivering three successful Electron missions in just over five weeks testament to this. That the team delivered two flawless back-to-back national security missions only days after our most complex mission yet, the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA, is phenomenal.”
NROL-199 and NROL-162 are the latest pair of missions awarded to Rocket Lab by the NRO under the Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract, which enables the NRO to launch small satellites through a streamlined, commercial approach. NROL-151 (RASR-1) was successfully deployed to space on a dedicated Electron launch in early 2020, followed by RASR-2 on another Electron in June 2020.
About Rocket Lab
Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. We deliver reliable launch services, satellite manufacture, spacecraft components, and on-orbit management solutions that make it faster, easier and more affordable to access space. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron small orbital launch vehicle and the Photon satellite platform and is developing the Neutron 8-ton payload class launch vehicle. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 149 satellites to orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft platform has been selected to support NASA missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private commercial mission to Venus. Rocket Lab has three launch pads at two launch sites, including two launch pads at a private orbital launch site located in New Zealand and a second launch site in Virginia, USA which is expected to become operational in 2022. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.