Rocket Lab to Launch Responsive Space Missions for National Reconnaissance Office

·7 min read

LONG BEACH, Calif., July 05, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) ("Rocket Lab" or "the Company"), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced its next two launches will be responsive space missions for the United States Government’s National Reconnaissance Office.

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Two Electron rockets for the NRO ready for launch processing at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1. (Photo: Business Wire)

Launching from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on two Electron rockets, Rocket Lab is scheduled to deploy satellites to space for the NRO within only 10 days of each other. NROL-162 ("Wise One Looks Ahead") will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1’s Pad A no earlier than July 12, with NROL-199 ("Antipodean Adventure") scheduled to launch from Pad B no earlier than July 22.

The NROL-162 and NROL-199 missions will carry national security payloads designed, built, and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence as part of a broad range of cooperative satellite activities with Australia. The satellites will support the NRO to provide critical information to government agencies and decision makers monitoring international issues.

These twin missions will be a demonstration of responsive launch under NRO’s Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract for launching small satellite through a streamlined, commercial approach, and are the third and fourth missions contracted to Rocket Lab by the NRO under the contract. NROL-151 (RASR-1) was successfully deployed to space on a dedicated Electron launch in early 2020, followed by RASR-2 on another Electron launch in June 2020.

Rocket Lab CEO and founder, Peter Beck, says: "Space plays such a critical role in providing immediate insights and informing time-sensitive decisions, so a responsive, modern approach accessing orbit is crucial. This is what we’ve established with Electron and multiple launch sites – reliable rockets and multiple pads at the ready to support the national security community’s responsive space needs. Our quick turnaround for these two national security missions will be just the latest demonstration of our responsive space capability, and we’re honored to be a trusted mission partner to the NRO once again for these important RASR missions."

"Wise One Looks Ahead" launch details:

  • Launch Window Opens: July 12, UTC

  • Launch vehicle: Electron

  • Customer: National Reconnaissance Office

  • Launch site: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, Pad A

  • Mission type: Dedicated

  • Payload: NROL-162

"Antipodean Adventure" launch details:

  • Launch Window Opens: July 22, UTC

  • Launch vehicle: Electron

  • Customer: National Reconnaissance Office

  • Launch site: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, Pad B

  • Mission type: Dedicated

  • Payload: NROL-199

+ Images & Video Content
https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzPrHL

+ 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 8-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 147 satellites to space 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 second launch site in Virginia, USA which is expected to become operational in 2022. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.

+ About national reconnaissance office

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is the U.S. Government agency in charge of designing, building, launching, and maintaining America’s intelligence satellites. Whether creating the latest innovations in satellite technology, contracting with the most cost-efficient industrial supplier, conducting rigorous launch schedules, or providing the highest-quality products to customers, the NRO is always focused on protecting the U.S. and its citizens.

Since 1961, NRO has pushed the envelope of U.S. space-based intelligence collection with boldness and ingenuity. Today, NRO’s innovative legacy continues to thrive as it develops, acquires, launches, and operates the world’s most capable intelligence satellites. NROL-162 & 199 will strengthen NRO’s ability to provide a wide-range of timely intelligence information to national decision makers and intelligence analysts to protect the Nation’s vital interests and support humanitarian efforts worldwide.

+ FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release may contain certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are based on Rocket Lab’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond Rocket Lab’s control), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic; risks related to government restrictions and lock-downs in New Zealand and other countries in which we operate that could delay or suspend our operations; delays and disruptions in expansion efforts; our dependence on a limited number of customers; the harsh and unpredictable environment of space in which our products operate which could adversely affect our launch vehicle and spacecraft; increased congestion from the proliferation of low Earth orbit constellations which could materially increase the risk of potential collision with space debris or another spacecraft and limit or impair our launch flexibility and/or access to our own orbital slots; increased competition in our industry due in part to rapid technological development and decreasing costs; technological change in our industry which we may not be able to keep up with or which may render our services uncompetitive; average selling price trends; failure of our launch vehicles, spacecraft and components to operate as intended either due to our error in design in production or through no fault of our own; launch schedule disruptions; supply chain disruptions, product delays or failures; design and engineering flaws; launch failures; natural disasters and epidemics or pandemics; changes in governmental regulations including with respect to trade and export restrictions, or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications; or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule launches, including customer contractual rescheduling and termination rights; risks that acquisitions may not be completed on the anticipated time frame or at all or do not achieve the anticipated benefits and results; and the other risks detailed from time to time in Rocket Lab’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), including under the heading "Risk Factors" in Rocket Lab’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021, which was filed with the SEC on March 24, 2022, and elsewhere (including that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate the risks discussed therein). There can be no assurance that the future developments affecting Rocket Lab will be those that we have anticipated. Except as required by law, Rocket Lab is not undertaking any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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Contacts

+ Rocket Lab Media Contact
Murielle Baker
media@rocketlabusa.com