Credit: Rocket Lab

Long Beach, California. December 7, 2023 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it has signed a launch services agreement to launch an Earth observation satellite for the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) on a rideshare mission in the first half of 2024.

KAIST’s NeonSat-1 will be the primary payload on an Electron rideshare mission that will also deploy NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, or ACS3 satellite. The mission will lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.

“2024 is shaping up to be our busiest launch year yet with a fully booked manifest of Electron missions,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “By combining this mission with the launch of NASA’s ACS3 spacecraft, we’ve been able to provide KAIST with a launch opportunity on short notice to help them reach orbit faster. It’s a privilege to be working with the KAIST team and we are thrilled to be providing them with timely and affordable launch services on Electron.”

Jae-Hung Han, Director General of the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at KAIST said: "We highly anticipate collaborating with Rocket Lab for a successful launch of our first satellite of the NEONSAT microsatellite constellation program."

NeonSat-1 is a high-resolution optical satellite that will be deployed as a technology demonstration for a planned future Earth observation constellation. KAIST is Korea’s leading science and technology institution, having developed and operated Korea’s very first satellite KAIST when it was successfully launched more than 30 years ago.

In addition to being launched by Electron, KAIST’s NeonSat-1 will use Rocket Lab’s MLB satellite separation system in the Company’s latest demonstration of its vertically integrated space systems strategy.

Source: Rocket Lab

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Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.