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Rocket Lab USA, Inc., a leading launch and space systems company, announced it has successfully launched its 34th Electron rocket and second mission from its launch site on Wallops Island, Virginia deploying two spacecraft to low Earth orbit for Capella Space.
The “Stronger Together” mission lifted off at 22:38 UTC, March 16 2023 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Rocket Lab successfully deployed two 100-kg class Capella Space satellites to low Earth orbit.
"Congratulations to Capella Space and well done to the Rocket Lab team for another flawless launch from Virginia,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “This year we’re really picking up the launch pace so while one Electron was on the pad at Launch Complex 2 for Capella Space, the team in New Zealand has been preparing the next rocket at Launch Complex 1 to enable two launches from two continents within days of each other. Dedicated and responsive space access for small sats is here now, made possible by Electron.”
“Stronger Together” is Rocket Lab’s second mission from Launch Complex 2, following the Company’s first mission from U.S. soil in January 2023. Launch Complex 2 supplements Rocket Lab’s first launch site, Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, from which the Company has launched 32 Electron missions since 2017. Launch Complex 2 was built to provide dependable and responsive launch access for Rocket Lab’s U.S. government and commercial customers and its own Mission Control Center, Integration and Control Facility (ICF) with payload processing facilities and 100k class cleanrooms, and a vehicle integration bay capable of processing multiple Electron rockets at once to support rapid launches in quick succession. Electron is already the most prolific dedicated small launch vehicle globally and with Launch Complexes 1 and 2 now fully operational, Rocket Lab can support up to 130 flight opportunities every year.
Rocket Lab’s next scheduled mission is a dedicated launch for Spaceflight Inc. customer BlackSky, a leading provider of real-time geospatial intelligence and global monitoring services. The mission is scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand during a launch window that opens in March 2023.
Other upcoming disclosed Electron missions in 2023 include two launches for the NASA TROPICS constellation, the first of five dedicated missions for Internet-of-Things (IoT) connectivity provider Kinéis; several additional launches for Capella Space, and the launch of a mission to demonstrate space debris removal technology by Astroscale Japan.