Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket is set to take off as early as Jan. 31 from a launch complex in New Zealand to launch a mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.
The Birds of a Feather mission was awarded by the NRO under the Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket contract vehicle and seeks to demonstrate the company’s capability to offer frequent small satellite launch opportunities for the U.S. government, Rocket Lab said Monday.
Lars Hoffman, senior vice president of global launch services at Rocket Lab, said the Electron vehicle is designed to offer responsive and rapid access to space that provides NRO with complete control over its orbital and launch schedule requirements.
“As the industry shifts toward the disaggregation of large, geostationary spacecraft, Electron enables unprecedented access to space to support a resilient layer of government small satellite infrastructure,” Hoffman added.
Rocket Lab has been launching small satellite missions since January 2018. The company’s Electron launch vehicle has delivered 47 satellites to orbit to date.