- Just seven days after a successful Electron mission from Launch Complex 2 in Virginia, Rocket Lab has completed another successful mission from the other side of the planet at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, demonstrating responsive launch capability from two hemispheres.
- The mission also saw Rocket Lab successfully splash down Electron’s first stage in the ocean as part of the Company’s plan to make Electron a reusable rocket.
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 35th Electron rocket, deploying two multi-spectral Gen-2 satellites to low Earth orbit for BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) through launch services provider Spaceflight, Inc. The mission took place just seven days following the Company’s previous Electron mission from Launch Complex 2 in Virginia, setting a new company record for fastest turnaround between Electron missions.
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Rocket Lab's Electron rocket lifts off the pad at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, completing the Company's 35th Electron mission. (Photo: Business Wire)
The mission, named “The Beat Goes On,” lifted off at 09:14 UTC, 24 March 2023 from Pad B at Launch Complex 1, Rocket Lab’s private launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula.
"Electron has repeatedly proven itself as a reliable constellation builder and today we’re proud to deliver mission success once again for BlackSky and Spaceflight after many previous missions together,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “Launching two successful missions just seven days apart from two different hemispheres is a real demonstration of responsive space in action, and successfully splashing down Electron’s first stage as part of our reusability program is the icing on the cake.”
“The Beat Goes On” was Rocket Lab’s seventh launch for BlackSky since 2019, helping to build out BlackSky’s growing real-time geospatial intelligence constellation.
In addition to delivering BlackSky’s satellites to orbit, Rocket Lab accomplished a successful ocean splashdown of Electron’s first stage in an effort to make Electron the world’s first reusable orbital small launch vehicle. The first stage will now be transported back to Rocket Lab’s production complex for assessment, testing and requalification to inform future recovery missions. Pending the outcome of these assessments Rocket Lab may choose to proceed with marine operations as the primary recovery method, opting to transition away from helicopter use.
Rocket Lab is on track this year to surpass its launch record of nine launches set in 2022 with 15 planned launches. 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 launches for Capella Space, and the launch of a mission to demonstrate space debris removal technology by Astroscale Japan.
+ 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 159 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 March 7, 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.