Launch Notices: Rocket Lab Missions | Launch Calendars
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Rocket Lab Launch: Ready, Aim, PREFIRE

Mission name: Ready, Aim, PREFIRE
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
NZST Launch Window: Opens 19:15, May 22, 2024
UTC Launch Window: 07:15, May 22, 2024
ET Launch Window: 03:15, May 22, 2024
PT Launch Window: 00:15, May 22, 2024
Mission Overview: ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’ is the first of two back-to-back Electron launches to deploy NASA’s PREFIRE mission. The mission aims to measure heat lost from Earth’s polar regions to improve climate models. The satellites will be deployed to a 525km circular orbit and will focus on thermal infrared radiation measurements. This will be Rocket Lab’s 48th Electron launch and its sixth launch of 2024.
Press Kit: PDF Download
Live Stream: rocketlabusa.com/livestream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Rocket Lab Ready, Aim, PREFIRE Mission Patch

Rocket Lab Launch: Beginning Of The Swarm

Mission name: Beginning Of The Swarm
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Launch Complex 1
NZT Launch Window: 10:00, April 24, 2024
UTC Launch Window: 22:00, April 23, 2024
ET Launch Window: 18:00, April 23, 2024
PT Launch Window: 15:00, April 23, 2024
Mission Overview: Rocket Lab’s ‘Beginning Of The Swarm’ mission is set to launch from New Zealand during a 14-day window starting on April 24th. The Electron rocket will carry two satellites for separate customers: NEONSAT-1, an Earth observation satellite developed by SaTReC and KAIST, and NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3).

NEONSAT-1, the primary payload, is designed to monitor natural disasters along the Korean Peninsula using high-resolution optical imagery and artificial intelligence. The secondary payload, NASA’s ACS3, will demonstrate new materials and deployable structures for solar sail propulsion systems, which use sunlight for propulsion instead of conventional rocket propellant. The solar sail will measure approximately 30 feet per side when unfurled, and the flight data will be used to design future larger-scale composite solar sail systems for various space missions.
Live Stream: rocketlabusa.com/livestream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Rocket Lab Beginning Of The Swarm Mission Patch

Rocket Lab Launch: Live & Let Fly

Mission name: Live & Let Fly
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Launch Complex 2, Wallops, Virginia
ET Launch Window: Approx 02:40 am, March 21 2024
PT Launch Window: Approx 11:40 pm, March 20 2024
Mission Overview: Rocket Lab’s upcoming NROL-123 mission, nicknamed ‘Live and Let Fly’, marks the company’s first launch for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from the United States, following four successful NRO missions from New Zealand. The launch, procured through NRO’s Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract, will take place at Launch Complex 2, a dedicated pad for the Electron rocket located at Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The mission aims to provide critical information to more than half a million government users, including every member of the Intelligence Community, two dozen domestic agencies, the military, lawmakers, and decision makers.
Live Stream: rocketlabusa.com/livestream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Rocket Lab Live & Let Fly Mission Patch

Rocket Lab Launch: Owl Night Long

Mission name: Owl Night Long
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Launch Complex 1
NZDT Launch Window: 04:03, March 13 2024
UTC Launch Window: 15:03, March 12 2024
ET Launch Window: 11:03, March 12 2024
PT Launch Window: 08:03, March 12 2024
Mission Overview: ‘Owl Night Long’ is scheduled to deploy the StriX-3 satellite for Synspective, aimed at enhancing Earth observation capabilities with Synthetic Aperture Radar technology. This mission continues the collaboration between Rocket Lab and Synspective, expanding their SAR satellite constellation.
Live Stream: rocketlabusa.com/livestream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Rocket Lab Owl Night Long Mission Patch

Rocket Lab and Varda Pull Off Historic Recovery

The Rocket Lab team setting up the Varda Space in orbit drug manufacturing spacecraft for re-entry.

Rocket Lab Mission Control Working to bring Varda Space capsule back to Earth

And the capsule’s successful recovery.

Varda Space capsule recover in the Utah desert

It took months for the team to land FAA part 450 approval for its landing in Utah but the spacecraft was well positioned to deal with the delays:

Today’s mission is a successful demonstration of Rocket Lab’s end-to-end space systems solutions tailored to enable novel and innovative missions for a range of customers. Rocket Lab designed, manufactured and operated a bespoke spacecraft to enable Varda’s capsule manufacturing demonstration. The spacecraft included a full suite of Rocket Lab sub-systems and components built in-house, spanning spacecraft engine, flight software, avionics, reaction wheels, star trackers, capsule dispenser, solar panels, radio, composite structures and tanks, and more.

While initially designed for a four-month lifespan on orbit, the mission timeline was more than doubled with Rocket Lab’s spacecraft successfully provided power, communications, ground control, and attitude control to Varda’s capsule on orbit for more than eight months. This enabled Varda’s capsule to grow Ritonavir crystals, commonly used in antiviral medication. As particles function differently when no longer under the force of gravity, Varda’s capsule utilizes microgravity conditions in space to formulate a range of pharmaceutical products.

Subsequent missions should be a lot easier to manage and the FAA seems to be getting on board to streamline the process for what looks like the birth of in-orbit manufacturing at scale.

Rocket Lab Launch: On Closer Inspection

Mission name: On Closer Inspection
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Launch Complex 1 – Pad B, Mahia New Zealand
NZDT Launch Window: Opens 03:52, February 19th 2024
UTC Launch Window: 14:52, February 18th 2024
ET Launch Window: 09:52, February 18th 2024
PT Launch Window: 06:52, February 18th 2024
Mission Overview: ‘On Closer Inspection’ is an advanced mission by Rocket Lab, launching a single satellite, ADRAS-J, for Astroscale. This mission focuses on approaching and monitoring a piece of space junk to assess the potential for servicing or de-orbiting the debris in the future. It marks Rocket Lab’s second mission of 2024 and its 44th Electron launch overall.


Press Kit: PDF Download
Live Stream: rocketlabusa.com/livestream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

On Closer Inspection Mission Patch

Rocket Lab Launch: Four Of A Kind

It’s time to kick off the 2024 mission season!

Mission name: Four Of A Kind
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site Launch Complex 1
NZDT Launch Window: 19:15 – 20:00, Jan. 31 2024
UTC Launch Window: 06:15 – 07:00, Jan. 31 2024
ET Launch Window: 01:15 – 02:00, Jan. 31 2024
PT Launch Window: 22:15 – 23:00, Jan. 30 2024
Mission Overview: ‘Four Of A Kind’ is a dedicated mission for Spire Global Inc and its customer NorthStar Earth & Space, marking Rocket Lab’s first Electron launch of 2024 and their 43rd Electron mission. The mission will deploy four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites built and operated by Spire for NorthStar. These satellites will be the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, providing advanced SSA services for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.
Press Kit: PDF Download
Live Stream: rocketlabusa.com/livestream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Mission patch for Four Of A Kind, a dedicated Rocket Lab Electron mission for Spire Global Inc and its customer NorthStar Earth & Space

Rocket Lab Launch: The Moon God Awakens

Rocket Lab’s return to flight is coming up!

Mission Name: The Moon God Awakens
Launch Vehicle: Electron
Launch Site: Launch Complex 1
NZDT Launch Window: No earlier than December 15, 2023, 17:00 - 19:00 NZDT
UTC Launch Window: December 15, 2023, 04:00 - 06:00 UTC
EST Launch Window: December 14, 2023, 23:00 - December 15, 2023, 01:00 EST
PST Launch Window: December 14, 2023, 20:00 - 22:00 PST
Mission Overview: Rocket Lab is set to launch the QPS-SAR-5 satellite, named “TSUKUYOMI-I,” for the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS), a Japanese Earth imaging company. The launch, part of the “The Moon God Awakens” mission, is scheduled from late November 2023 into December from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. QPS-SAR-5, a high-performance synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite, will join iQPS’s constellation, which ultimately aims to have 36 satellites for frequent Earth monitoring. This mission also showcases Rocket Lab’s integrated space systems strategy, as the satellite will utilize Rocket Lab’s Mark II Motorized Lightband for separation.
Live Stream: Rocket Lab Live Stream

For Additional Updates: Follow Rocket Lab’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Rocket Lab Launch: We Will Never Desert You

Capella Space is back again for Rocket Lab’s 41st launch, “We Will Never Desert You”.

Launch Site: Complex 1 - Mahia, New Zealand
Vehicle: Electron
Launch Window Opens: 11:30PM September 18 PDT
Recovery Mission: No
Customers: Capella Space
Press Kit: PDF
Livestream: Rocket Lab / YouTube

Rocket Lab Launch: We Love the Nightlife

Rocket Lab’s 40th launch, “We Love the Nightlife” is just a few days away. This will be the first launch of Capella Space’s third-gen Acadia SAR satellite.

Launch Site: Complex 1 - Mahia, New Zealand
Vehicle: Electron
Launch Window Opens: 4:45PM, August 23rd PDT
Recovery Mission: No
Customers: Capella Space
Press Kit: PDF
Livestream: Rocket Lab / YouTube

Watching Baby Come Back

The mission page for Rocket Lab’s July 14th launch is up. ‘Baby Come Back’ is a rideshare mission that will be deploying satellites for NASA’s Starling mission, Spire Global, and Space Flight Laboratory

The launch is scheduled for NET 23:30 UTC which you can convert to your local time here.

I have links for monitoring the weather at both launch sites on the Rocket Lab page that you may find useful as we get closer to launch day.