Electron Rocket Arrives at Launch Complex 2 for Rocket Labs Inaugural Mission from Virginia

October 13, 2022


Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced the Electron rocket to be launched in the Company’s first mission from U.S. soil has arrived at Launch Complex 2 in Virginia.

The mission will deploy satellites for radio frequency geospatial analytics provider HawkEye 360 and will be Rocket Lab’s first lift-off from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility – a launch pad developed to support Electron missions from U.S. soil for government and commercial customers. Encouraged by NASA’s recent progress in certifying its Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU) software, which is required to enable Electron launches from Virginia, Rocket Lab has scheduled the mission from Launch Complex 2 in December 2022.

With Electron now at Launch Complex 2, Rocket Lab will begin final launch preparations including a standard launch dress rehearsal and payload integration at Rocket Lab’s dedicated Integration and Control Facility near the launch site.  

Launch Complex 2 supplements Rocket Lab’s existing site, Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, from which 31 Electron missions have already launched. The two launch complexes combined can support more than 130 launch opportunities every year, delivering unmatched flexibility for rapid, responsive launch for government and commercial satellite operators. The launch pad and production complex for Rocket Lab’s large reusable Neutron launch vehicle will also be located at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, streamlining operations across small and large launch.

“We are looking forward to seeing Electron take to Virginia skies for the first time very soon,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “Rocket Lab has been providing reliable and responsive access to orbit for more than four and a half years with Electron and we’re excited to build on that strong heritage by unlocking a new path to orbit from right here on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. We are delighted to be working with the dedicated teams at NASA, Virginia Space, Accomack County and HawkEye 360 to launch this historic mission and begin a new era of space access.”

The mission will be 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 mapping of radio frequency emissions anywhere in the world. Supporting Rocket Lab’s vertical integration strategy, Rocket Lab will also supply HawkEye 360 with separation systems produced by Planetary Systems Corporation, a Maryland-based space hardware company acquired by Rocket Lab in December 2021.

Source : Rocket Lab USA

Electron Rocket Arrives at Launch Complex 2 for Rocket Labs Inaugural Mission from Virginia