Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Rocket Lab Launches First Electron Rocket from Virginia | NASA Wallops

Rocket Lab Launches First Electron Rocket from Virginia | NASA Wallops

Rocket Lab performed its long-awaited first Electron launch from Virginia Jan. 24, 2023, placing three HawkEye 360 satellites into orbit. The Electron rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia, at 6 p.m. Eastern. Electron carried three satellites for HawkEye 360, the Herndon, Virginia-based company that offers radio-frequency (RF) intelligence services. The “Cluster 6” satellites, deployed into a 550-kilometer orbit at an inclination of 40.5 degrees, will join the company’s constellation to locate and monitor terrestrial RF sources. 

The mission, called “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” by Rocket Lab, was the company’s first launch from LC-2. The company’s previous 32 Electron launches took place from its Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Rocket Lab had been working for years to set a U.S. launch site to support government and other customers who wanted to launch domestically. The launch is the first of the year for Rocket Lab, which said in a November earnings call it was planning approximately 14 Electron launches in 2023 after conducting nine in 2022. The company projected that four to six of those launches would take place from Wallops, including two launches in the spring to deploy NASA’s four Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) cubesats under a task order NASA announced in November.

Read full SpaceNews article:

Image Credits: Rocket Lab/Trevor Mahlmann

Caption Credit: Jeff Foust/SpaceNews

Image Date: Jan. 24, 2023

#NASA #Space #Aerospace #Earth #RocketLab #Electron #Rocket #Launch #Satellites #HawkEye360 #GeospatialAnalytics #VirginiaIsForLaunchLovers #CommercialSpace #PeterBeck #WallopsIsland #Virginia #STEM #Education

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