INDEPENDENT NEWS

Rocket Lab Successfully Completes Second Launch For NASA Climate Science Mission

Published: Wed 5 Jun 2024 05:46 PM
MAHIA, New Zealand--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today successfully completed the second of two Electron launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission, completing a turnaround of two launches within eleven days.
‘PREFIRE and Ice’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand at 3:15pm NZST on Wednesday June 5th, 2024, deploying the second of two satellites for the PREFIRE mission to a 525km orbit. The first mission, ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’, was successfully launched days earlier on May 25th, 2024 from the same launch pad, demonstrating Rocket Lab’s ability to launch consistently and in quick succession to meet customer mission requirements.
With both satellites now in orbit, they will crisscross the Arctic and Antarctic to study heat lost to space from the Earth’s polar regions. Heat loss measurements collected by the PREFIRE mission will help to improve climate and ice-loss models to better predict Earth’s ice, sea level, and weather changes. The mission is expected to operate for 10 months.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Sir Peter Beck, says: “I’m proud of the team for delivering back-to-back mission success for NASA on Electron once again. Quickly deploying both satellites to orbit within eleven days of each other demonstrates our team’s skill and experience, allowing NASA to maximize PREFIRE’s time in space collecting important climate change data. We’re a long-trusted launch partner for NASA’s biggest small satellite missions, and it’s a privilege to continue supporting innovative science missions like PREFIRE.”
Electron has now delivered 185 satellites to space across all its launches, with today’s mission being Rocket Lab’s 49th Electron launch overall and seventh mission of 2024. Electron remains the United States’ second-most frequently launched rocket annually and one of the most frequently launched rockets globally.
Details for Rocket Lab’s 50th Electron launch will be released in the coming days.
+ 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, a family of flight proven spacecraft, and the Company is developing the large Neutron launch vehicle for constellation deployment. 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 180+ 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 family of spacecraft have 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. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.

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