USAF’s Pearl White Cubesats Mission Set to Launch Aboard Rocket Lab Electron Booster

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

MAHIA, New Zealand — Pearl White, an Air Force Space Command demonstration program, is set to launch no earlier than August 16th as part of a rideshare aboard a Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle in summer 2019.  The launch will take place at the Rocket Lab Launch Complex-1 near Mahia, New Zealand.

The program goal is to design, develop, launch and operate two 6U cubesat experimental spacecraft as an on-orbit testbed for emerging technologies in 2019. 

The demonstration will test new technologies including propulsion, power, communications, and drag capabilities for potential applications on future spacecraft. The spacecraft will be placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with a notional altitude of ~540 km and an inclination of ~45 degrees.

The two cubesats were built by Tiger Innovations Inc., which is located in Herndon, Virginia, and are designed for a one-year lifetime.  Tiger Innovations Inc. will operate the spacecraft for the life of the program under the direction and oversight of AFSPC.

Rocket Lab Announces Reusability Plans For Electron Rocket

Electron rocket descending (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., August 6, 2019 (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has revealed plans to recover and re-fly the first stage of its Electron launch vehicle. The move aims to enable Rocket Lab to further increase launch frequency by eliminating the need to build a new first stage for every mission.

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Rocket Lab Seeks Changes at Mahia Peninsula for Second Launch Pad

Electron rocket on the launch pad. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab has applied to Hawke’s Bay Regional Council for approval for some changes related to a planned second launch pad at its spaceport on Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand, The Gisborne Herald reports.

Rocket Lab communications manager Morgan Bailey said the application referred to an amendment to Rocket Lab’s existing resource consent for Launch Complex 1, which allows for up to three launch pads on the same site.

“While we don’t need this many pads at the moment, we are looking at what resource and environmental standards Rocket Lab will need to have in place for a potential second pad in the future,” said Ms Bailey.

“The amendment addresses how Rocket Lab would deal with rain that falls on an additional pad. As for how that water is managed, Rocket Lab was founded on the principle of using space to better understand and protect our environment. This means committing to carefully managing and protecting the environment at the launch site too.

“The rainwater at the launch site is captured for reuse and does not flow into the sea. Any wastewater from bathrooms or grey water is also transported away from the site by a professional service that disposes of it correctly.”

Rocket Lab is also constructing a launch pad on Wallops Island in Virginia for flights of its Electron small satellite booster.

Rocket Lab’s August Mission Focused On Building Constellations And Enabling R&D

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has today announced its next launch is a mission carrying satellites destined to begin a new constellation for UNSEENLABS, as well as more rideshare payloads for Spaceflight, consisting of a spacecraft for BlackSky and the United States Air Force Space Command.

The mission – named ‘Look Ma, No Hands’ – will lift-off in August from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying a total of four satellites aboard an Electron launch vehicle.

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Kleos Scouting Mission Launch Period Extended

LUXEMBOURG, 22 July 2019 (Kleos Space PR) — Kleos Space S.A. (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data provider, has been informed by launch provider Rocket Lab that the Kleos’ Scouting Mission launch period has been extended to October 2019.

Kleos’ CEO Andy Bowyer said, “The Kleos Scouting Mission launch is dependent on parties outside of Kleos control. Notwithstanding that our team has ensured that our satellites are mission ready, but we cannot launch without a vehicle.

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Kleos Space Completes Acceptance Reviews for Satellites

Luxembourg, 16 July 2019: Kleos Space S.A. (ASX: KSS, Frankfurt: KS1), (Kleos or Company), a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data provider, has completed all acceptance reviews and the satellites are mission ready awaiting transport to RocketLab’s Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.

The satellites in the Kleos’ Scouting Mission are now secured in their protective Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) boxes – designed to prevent damage to the hardware in the event of a discharge of static electricity. Sensitive devices are protected at all times during manufacture/assembly, transport, handling, and storage.

Kleos’ CTO Miles Ashcroft said “Our satellites have undergone and successfully passed the full test suite. They are formally technically accepted as mission ready. We await the ‘green light’ from our launch partners RocketLab to dispatch to Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand for flight preparation and integration onto the launch vehicle.”

The multi-satellite Scouting Mission system will form the foundation of a constellation that delivers a global picture of hidden maritime activity, enhancing the intelligence capability of government and commercial entities when AIS (Automatic Identification System) is defeated, imagery is unclear, or targets are out of patrol range. The first scouting mission is made up of four nano-satellites built by GomSpace in Denmark.

Rocket Lab Successfully Launches Rideshare Mission for Spaceflight

Rocket Lab’s launch site on New Zealand Mahia Peninsula as seen from the Electron booster. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Rocket Lab’s Electron booster successfully launched the “Make it Rain” rideshare mission for Seattle-based Spaceflight from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula on Saturday.

The mission lofted seven satellites, including: BlackSky’s Global-3 imaging microsat; two U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Prometheus reconnaissance CubeSats; two Swarm SpaceBEE satellites; Melbourne Space Program’s ACRUX-1 CubeSat; and one spacecraft from an undisclosed customer. The payloads weighed 80 kg (176.4 lb).

The BlackSky Global-3 imaging satellite was developed, designed and manufactured by BlackSky of the United States. The company is a provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging and global monitoring services.

It was the sixth successful Electron launch in a row out of seven attempts and the third flight of 2019.  Rocket Lab has now orbited 35 satellites on its six successful missions.

The mission’s name was drawn from the high volume of rainfall in Seattle where Spaceflight is headquartered and at the Mahia Peninsula where Electron from which Electron is launched.











Spaceflight’s First Rideshare Mission Aboard a Rocket Lab Electron Readies for Launch

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

SEATTLE (Spaceflight PR) — Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it will launch seven spacecraft from five organizations later this month on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from Launch Complex 1 at the southern tip of Mahia Peninsula, on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. This mission, also called “Make It Rain” by Rocket Lab as a nod to the weather in both Seattle and New Zealand, represents Spaceflight’s first of five launches scheduled with Rocket Lab this year.

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Rocket Lab to Launch Rideshare for Spaceflight

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. 10 May, 2019 (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, announced today that its next flight will launch multiple spacecraft on a mission procured by satellite rideshare and mission management provider, Spaceflight. The launch window will open in June, with launch taking place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.

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Three USAF Experimental Satellites Launched Aboard Electron Rocket

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The U.S. Air Force and its mission partners has successfully launched three Department of Defense research and development satellites on Huntington Beach-based Rocket Lab USA’s Electron rocket from Mahia, New Zealand at 11:00 p.m. PST, May 4, 2019 and  6:00 p.m. NZST May 5, 2019.

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Northrop Grumman Successfully Demonstrates Critical Space Capability for DARPA Mission in Record Time

R3D2 satellite being prepared for launch. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Rapid prototyping capabilities led DARPA’s R3D2 program to success

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., May 7, 2019 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully demonstrated rapid spacecraft development for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), with the Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2), which launched on March 28, 2019.

Northrop Grumman led a unique team of commercial suppliers to deliver a 150 kg small satellite from concept to orbit in 20 months. Traditional satellites of comparable complexity typically take many years to get to this stage.

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Rocket Lab Launch Rescheduled for Sunday

That is 2 a.m. EDT.











Rocket Lab Plans First Night Launch on Saturday, SpaceX Scrubs Dragon Flight

 

Electron lifts off with DARPA’s R3D2 satellite. (Credits: Kieran Fanning, Sam Tom)

Rocket Lab has completed the launch readiness review for Electron’s first night launch on Saturday.  The launch window for the flight, which will carry three technology demonstration satellites for the U.S. Department of Defense, opens at 2:00 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC/ 18:00 NZT).

SpaceX scrubbed the launch of a Dragon supply ship to the International Space Station on Friday due to an electrical issue on the Of Course I Still Love You drone ship. There was also a helium leak involving the Falcon 9 booster.

The next launch opportunity is Saturday at 2:48 a.m. EDT (0648 UTC).











Rocket Lab Unveils Spacecraft Program

Photon system (Credit: Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab becomes an integrated spacecraft builder and launch provider, enabling small satellite operators to focus on delivering data and services from space

Space Symposium, Colorado Springs. April 8, 2019 (Rocket Lab PR) – U.S. small satellite launch company Rocket Lab has announced the next evolution of its mission services; the in-house designed and built Photon™ satellite platform.

As the global leader in small satellite launch, Rocket Lab now delivers an integrated spacecraft build and launch service. The end-to-end mission solution enables small satellite customers to focus on delivering their service from orbit and generating revenue, rather than building their own satellite hardware.

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