The mission, Rocket Lab’s 8th mission for BlackSky Global, is scheduled to lift-off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand just six days after a successful mission from Launch Complex 2 in Virginia.
LONG BEACH, Calif.-Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, announced that it will launch a pair of satellites on a dedicated Electron mission for BlackSky (NYSE: BKSY) through global launch services provider Spaceflight, Inc., during a launch window opening March 22, 2023 UTC.
The mission, named “The Beat Goes On,” will launch two of BlackSky’s Gen-2 Earth-imaging satellites from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand and will bring the total number of satellites delivered by Electron to orbit to 159. Electron will deliver the satellites to a circular 450KM orbit, which will bring the total number of satellites in BlackSky’s constellation to 16.
As a secondary mission, Rocket Lab plans to recover Electron’s first stage after it parachutes back to Earth and splashes down in the ocean. Rocket Lab’s recovery team will retrieve Electron using a customized vessel and transport the stage back to Rocket Lab’s production complex for analysis. Data from this recovered stage will inform Rocket Lab’s ongoing recovery and reuse program.
Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck says: “We’re proud to continue playing a key role in building out BlackSky’s growing constellation. We’ve now delivered 9 satellites to orbit for BlackSky since our first launch for them in 2019 and we’re grateful to have been entrusted with their mission once again. Counting down to another mission just six days after a successful launch from LC-2 in Virginia is no mean feat and testament to our team’s experience and dedication to delivering response launch.”
The pair of high-resolution, multi-spectral, Gen-2 satellites to be launched on Electron will expand BlackSky’s network in space and its offering of real-time geospatial intelligence and monitoring services. BlackSky combines high-resolution images captured by its constellation of microsatellites with its proprietary artificial intelligence software to deliver analytics and insights to industries including transportation, infrastructure, land use, defense, supply chain management, and humanitarian aid.
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 and the Photon satellite platform and is developing the Neutron 13-ton payload class launch vehicle. 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 157 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 launch pad in Virginia, USA. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.