Rocket Lab is preparing to launch the second half of NASA’s TROPICS satellite constellation as early as May 22, just two weeks after successfully completing the first launch
Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, is preparing for the second of two dedicated Electron launches to deploy a constellation of storm monitoring satellites for NASA.
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Electron lifts off from Launch Complex 1 for the 'Rocket Like a Hurricane' launch to deploy satellites for NASA's TROPICS constellation. (Photo: Business Wire)
The launch, called ‘Coming To A Storm Near You,’ is scheduled for lift-off no earlier than 17:30 on May 22nd NZST from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The launch follows on from the successful ‘Rocket Like a Hurricane’ Electron launch on May 8th 2023, which deployed the first two CubeSats of NASA’s TROPICS constellation. The ‘Coming To A Storm Near You’ launch will deploy the final two TROPICS CubeSats, completing the constellation.
The TROPICS constellation (Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats) will monitor the formation and evolution of tropical cyclones, including hurricanes, and will provide rapidly updating observations of storm intensity. This data will help scientists better understand the processes that affect these high-impact storms, ultimately leading to improved modeling and prediction. The constellation, which is part of NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder Program, consists of four CubeSats that require launch to a specific orbit at an altitude of 550 kilometers and inclination of about 30 degrees. All four satellites need to be deployed into their operational orbit within a 60-day period.
“We’re immensely proud to have successfully deployed the first two TROPICS satellites into their precise orbits and are now looking forward to delivering one more launch to complete the constellation ahead of storm season. Rocket Lab has an established track record of delivering back-to-back missions just days apart, enabling us to comfortably deliver on the tight launch timeline requirements for TROPICS,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “TROPICS aims to equip scientists and researchers with more accurate and timely storm data to provide better forecasts and advance warning to those in the path of devastating cyclones and hurricanes. It’s a privilege to be entrusted with launching the mission and we’re grateful for the continued support from the teams at NASA and MIT Lincoln Laboratory for the next launch.”
‘Coming To A Storm New You’ will be Rocket Lab’s fifth Electron mission for 2023 and the Company’s 37th launch overall since Rocket Lab’s first Electron launch in 2017. The TROPICS launches follow on from previous successful Electron missions for NASA, including the ELaNa-19 mission and CAPSTONE mission to the Moon and marks the first set of successful launches under the agency’s VADR (Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare) contract.
The live launch webcast will be available at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream from around T-20 minutes on launch day. Follow Rocket Lab on Twitter @RocketLab for real time mission updates.
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, the Photon satellite platform and the Company is developing the large Neutron launch vehicle for constellation deployment. 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 161 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 pad in Virginia. 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. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, contained in this press release, including statements regarding any expectations of financial results, strategy, future operations, future financial position, projected costs, prospects, plans and objectives of management, are forward-looking statements. Words such as, but not limited to, “anticipate,” “aim,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “design,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “suggest,” “strategy,” “target,” “will,” “would,” and similar expressions or phrases, or the negative of those expressions or phrases, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. 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 release, including risks related to 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 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. 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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