Rocket Lab Prepares to Launch First Mission from Wallops Island
The mission will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within the NASA Wallops Flight Facility
WALLOPS ISLAND, Virginia - Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, is preparing to launch the Company’s first Electron mission from U.S. soil on December 18 between 6-8pm ET. The mission will take place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility – a launch pad developed to support U.S. Electron missions for government and commercial customers.
Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle on the pad at Launch Complex 2 at Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA Wallops Flight Facility. Credit: Trevor Mahlmann
The “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” mission will deploy three satellites for radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360. The mission is the first of three Electron launches for HawkEye 360 in a contract that will see Rocket Lab deliver 15 satellites to low Earth orbit between late 2022 and 2024. These missions will grow HawkEye 360’s constellation of radio frequency monitoring satellites, enabling the company to better deliver precise geolocation of radio frequency emissions anywhere in the world.
While “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” will be Electron’s first launch from the U.S., Rocket Lab has already conducted 32 Electron missions from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, delivering 152 satellites to orbit for customers including NASA, the National Reconnaissance Office, DARPA, the U.S. Space Force and a range of commercial constellation operators. Electron is already the most frequently launched small orbital rocket globally and now with the capacity of the pads at Launch Complex 1 and 2 combined, Rocket Lab has more than 130 Electron launch opportunities every year.
The launch window extends through December 19 to allow for weather or technical delays if required. Follow Rocket Lab on Twitter (@RocketLab) for real time mission updates.
Where to watch launch:
Launch fans eager to watch Electron take to Virginia skies for the first time can visit viewing locations including Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Atlantic beaches also provide good viewing locations. The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will be open for this launch. A live launch webcast will also be available at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream from around T-40 minutes.
+ 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 152 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.