Rocket Lab, the leader of the SmallSat launch market, has completed its “Back to Back” launch campaign for the National Reconnaissance Office. This marks a major cadence milestone for the company working to become the SpaceX of SmallSat launches.
Rocket Lab launched the first Artemis program mission, called CAPSTONE, from its launch site in New Zealand on June 28. Its purpose? Testing out the orbit and procedures for where NASA’s proposed Gateway space station will be.
Rocket Lab launched NASA’s CAPSTONE mission to the Moon Tuesday, June 28 at 5:55 a.m. EDT. The mission was originally planned to launch from Rocket Lab’s Wallops Island but due to the pad not being ready for service the mission was moved to LC-1 at the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
Rocket Lab attempted an air recovery of the first stage of its Electron rocket during the recent “There and Back Again” mission. The company just released new video of the mission, including video from the rocket during the catch.
Earlier today, Rocket Lab launched its ‘There and Back Again’ mission. This was the first Electron launch to feature an air-based recovery, using a helicopter to catch the first stage that was descending under parachute. While the catch seemed good, and Rocket Lab confirmed success, groans heard from mission control made it clear that all was not quite as expected.
Reusability is a growing trend in spaceflight – from reusable capsules, space planes, and rocket boosters. Rocket Lab is going all-in on reusability with its Neutron rocket, as is SpaceX with its Starship, but before then, Rocket Lab has adapted and improved its Electron rocket for recovery and reuse.
Rocket Lab launched an Electron rocket from LC-1A at its private launch site in New Zealand on May 2, 2022, at 6:49 p.m. EDT. This launch will carry 34 payloads to a Sun-Synchronous Orbit. The window extends until 8:40 p.m. EDT.
Rocket Lab announced a new agreement to launch fifteen satellites for HawkEye 360, a Virginia-based geospatial analytics company. The first of these mission, which will be a rideshare mission, is expected to launch no earlier than December 2022, and will be the company’s first launch from the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.
In a ceremony on Monday, Rocket Lab broke ground on a new facility for the company’s upcoming Neutron rocket. Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck was joined by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, the director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Dennis Andrucyk, the director of Wallops Flight Facility Dave Pierce, and others for the groundbreaking ceremony.
Announced on April 2, Rocket Lab‘s next launch of its Electron rocket will feature the first stage mid-air recovery of the rocket’s first stage. Here is how Rocket Lab will attempt to catch and reuse its smallsat rockets.
Rocket Lab are set to launch two BlackSky satellites to orbit from Launch Complex-1A on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. Liftoff is set for April 2 at 12:10 UTC.
Rocket Lab announced on February 28 that it will build, launch, and land its Neutron rocket in Virginia near NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and the company’s US-based launch complex.
Rocket Lab has been working on adding multiple launch locations for its Electron rocket for the past few years. Finally, the company’s second pad in New Zealand is ready, and Rocket Lab is showing it off with dual rockets.
Reusability in spaceflight is increasing. While SpaceX has been able to reuse the first stage of its Falcon 9 rocket by landing them, Rocket Lab is taking a different sort of approach with its Electron rocket: deploying a parachute and using a helicopter to scoop them out of the air.
It’s certainly a different approach than landing, but Rocket Lab teams are hard at work making this reusability a reality.
Starting Wednesday morning, we saw three launches from three different continents within 24 hours. It all started in Russia with a launch to the International Space Station on a Soyuz rocket.
This week we saw new contracts from NASA, Rocket Lab’s groundbreaking design for Neutron, SpaceX pizza, and oh yeah there was an email from Elon Musk about Starship. Catch up on this week’s top stories below.
On this Thanksgiving week we had some major events and updates come from the spaceflight industry. Catch up on what happened below.
This week, Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck shared his thoughts on reusable rockets and shared a new shiny Electron design during a press conference.
The company that disrupted the smallsat launch industry with its dedicated launcher plans to make the jump to a medium-class launcher. Rocket Lab announced the update would take place on December 2. Read below to learn what we know so far about Rocket Lab’s upcoming Neutron launcher.
A few hours after the launch of SpaceX’s Crew-3, Rocket Lab plans to launch one of its rockets from New Zealand. The California-headquartered small satellite launcher will use its Electron rocket to place two second-generation BlackSky satellites into orbit. Electron’s launch will also sport a booster recovery. This will be Rocket Lab’s third recovery of an Electron booster and will be the first to have a helicopter nearby. While the booster will not be caught by the helicopter, instead, it will splashdown in the ocean. This is a step towards mid-air capture by a helicopter.
Date: Tuesday, November 16
Rocket Lab, an American small sat launcher, won a contract to launch a demonstration mission for Astroscale. The mission will demonstrate Astroscales active debris removal for phase one of JAXA’s Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Project.
The California-based smallsat launcher, Rocket Lab, announced Wednesday that they will be launching 5 missions for Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider Kinéis. This will make Rocket Lab the exclusive launcher of Kinéis’
The dedicated smallsat launcher, Rocket Lab, announced last Tuesday that they will try to push their launch schedule with a rapid succession of missions starting later this month.
After a failure in the second stage during their “Running Out Of Toes” mission earlier this year. Rocket Lab is planning to return with a now improved system this week. The mission will carry a test satellite for the United States Space Force to evaluate new sensor technology. In tradition with Rocket Lab’s fun naming style, this launch will be named “It’s A Little Chile Up Here”. This is in honor of the green chile of New Mexico where the Space Force’s Space Test Program is based.
Date: Thursday, July 29th at 4:00 a.m. EDT (2-hour window)
This week, the focus has been on Blue Origin. On Tuesday, they completed the first crewed flight of New Shepard, flying the oldest and youngest person to ever visit space.
In May of this year, Rocket Lab attempted to launch their 20th mission to space. The mission ended with failure of the Electron’s upper stage, but now they are ready to move on to their next flight.
Rocket Lab is continuing progress on their latest launch pad located at their New Zealand facility, LC-1B, with the installation of the strongback. The Electron launch vehicle has been grounded since an in-flight failure of the second stage engine. The anomaly investigation is still underway, but the FAA has cleared Electron for flight.
Late last week, Rocket Lab launched its 20th Electron mission and their second Electron to be recovered. While the mission failed during the second stage burn, the first stage’s secondary mission seems successful.
It’s a tough day for the folks at Rocket Lab. After a successful liftoff from New Zealand, the California rocket company experienced another failure of its Electron second stage. This sadly means that the payload, two BlackSky satellites, were lost during the mission.
Late last year Rocket Lab attempted its first recovery of an Electron rocket. Under the power of parachutes, the “Return to Sender” booster splashed down off the coast of New Zealand. While this booster didn’t return in a perfect reusable state, their next booster might fair better.
On the success of Rocket Lab’s most recent mission “They Go Up So Fast” the California-based launch provider announced that it will launch more global monitoring satellites for BlackSky. This is the biggest number of satellites the company has committed to launching to a single provider so far.
Rocket Lab is preparing for the 19th Mission of their Electron later today, at 6:30 pm Eastern time. This rideshare launch, “They Go Up So Fast”, will deliver 7 satellites into orbit for customers including BlackSky, the University of New South Wales, and the US Army’s Space and Missile Defense command.
The launch provider that has made themselves famous for launching dedicated missions for SmallSats on their Electron rocket is moving up to a new market. In a video Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck announced they are building a medium-class launch vehicle that will be able to launch not just heavier and larger satellites but also in the future crew.
After a busy year for the newer small sat launcher, Rocket Lab released a video recapping all of their achievements over 2020.
The California based small sat launcher provider conducted seven launches across 2020 and experienced its first failure of the Electron in flight. Rocket Lab was able to return to flying just two months later. While headquartered in California, Rocket Lab currently conducts most of its operations in New Zealand where they have their own launch complex with one operational launch pad with a second pad nearing completion.
Science YouTuber Scott Manley sat down with Rocket Lab CEO to talk about their year of launches while playing the popular space simulation game Kerbal Space Program.
Rocket Lab will kick off its 17th Electron launch this morning with its “The Owls Night Begins” mission. Currently, liftoff is scheduled to occur at 2:09 a.m. PST/5:09 a.m. ET from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.
Shortly after Rocket Lab successfully launched its “Return to Sender” mission last week, the company shared today that it had successfully recovered the booster. This is the first time in Rocket Lab’s history that it has recovered a flight proven rocket booster. Rocket Lab joins the ranks of SpaceX in executing booster recovery with intent to re-fly.
Rocket Lab’s latest video from space is only 32-seconds long, but you may want to set aside several minutes to roll the tape a few hundred times. It’s that good. The launch company shared the first-ever look at booster stage separation of its Electron rocket from space. Visually and sonically, you have to experience this for yourself.
Rocket Lab has announced that its next Electron launch will take place on December 12 at 5:09 a.m. EST. The mission, named “The Owl’s Night Begins,” will mark Rocket Lab’s 17th overall mission.
Today, the California-based company Rocket Lab will attempt its most ambitious launch yet. The company will be launching 30 satellites, a 3D-printed gnome, and attempting its first recovery of a first-stage booster.
A titanium garden gnome from Half-Life won’t be the only thing unique about Rocket Lab’s upcoming Electron launch. The 16th launch of Electron will also mark the first mission in which Rocket Lab attempts to recover a first stage booster SpaceX style.
Rocket Lab’s 16th Electron mission will be a must-watch event when the small-sat launcher lifts off later this month. Gabe Newell, co-founder of game development company Valve, is donating $1 to charity for every viewer who watches the launch stream. What’s the Valve connection? Rocket Lab can explain:
Though they will not be launching from US soil just yet, the California-based rocket company plans to launch 10 CubeSats into low Earth orbit from their launch complex in Mahia, New Zealand. This mission will be its second since they experienced an in-flight failure in July.