Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today 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.
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Electron launches from Rocket Lab Complex 2 on Wallops Island, Virginia. (Photo: Business Wire)
The “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.”
“Stronger Together” is Rocket Lab’s second mission from Launch Complex 2, following the Company’s first mission from U.S. soil in January 2023. Launch Complex 2 supplements Rocket Lab’s first launch site, Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, from which the Company has launched 32 Electron missions since 2017. Launch Complex 2 was built to provide dependable and responsive launch access for Rocket Lab’s U.S. government and commercial customers and its own Mission Control Center, Integration and Control Facility (ICF) with payload processing facilities and 100k class cleanrooms, and a vehicle integration bay capable of processing multiple Electron rockets at once to support rapid launches in quick succession. Electron is already the most prolific dedicated small launch vehicle globally and with Launch Complexes 1 and 2 now fully operational, Rocket Lab can support up to 130 flight opportunities every year.
Rocket Lab’s next scheduled mission is a dedicated launch for Spaceflight Inc. customer BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services. The mission is scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand during a launch window that opens in March 2023.
Other upcoming disclosed Electron missions in 2023 include two launches for the NASA TROPICS constellation, the first of five dedicated missions for Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider Kinéis; several additional launches for Capella Space, and the launch of a mission to demonstrate space debris removal technology by Astroscale Japan.
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F34 | Stronger Together
+ 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 launch vehicle for large spacecraft and constellations. 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 157 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 third launch pad in Virginia, USA. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.
+ FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are based on Rocket Lab’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond Rocket Lab’s control), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic; risks related to government restrictions and lock-downs in New Zealand and other countries in which we operate that could delay or suspend our operations; delays and disruptions in expansion efforts; our dependence on a limited number of customers; the harsh and unpredictable environment of space in which our products operate which could adversely affect our launch vehicle and spacecraft; increased congestion from the proliferation of low Earth orbit constellations which could materially increase the risk of potential collision with space debris or another spacecraft and limit or impair our launch flexibility and/or access to our own orbital slots; increased competition in our industry due in part to rapid technological development and decreasing costs; technological change in our industry which we may not be able to keep up with or which may render our services uncompetitive; average selling price trends; failure of our launch vehicles, spacecraft and components to operate as intended either due to our error in design in production or through no fault of our own; launch schedule disruptions; supply chain disruptions, product delays or failures; design and engineering flaws; launch failures; natural disasters and epidemics or pandemics; changes in governmental regulations including with respect to trade and export restrictions, or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications; or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule launches, including customer contractual rescheduling and termination rights; risks that acquisitions may not be completed on the anticipated time frame or at all or do not achieve the anticipated benefits and results; and the other risks detailed from time to time in Rocket Lab’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in Rocket Lab’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, which was filed with the SEC on February 28, 2023, and elsewhere (including that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate the risks discussed therein). There can be no assurance that the future developments affecting Rocket Lab will be those that we have anticipated. Except as required by law, Rocket Lab is not undertaking any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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+ Rocket Lab Media Contact