Long Beach, Calif. 27 February 2024 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today introduced its family of spacecraft buses, consolidating the custom designs Rocket Lab has developed for multiple customers and missions. The family of spacecraft is the result of more than four years of development into Rocket Lab’s space systems capabilities.

“We’ve had the privilege of developing, launching, and operating spacecraft for a broad range of customers and they’ve all told us the same thing: They need reliable and highly capable spacecraft built quickly and affordably. Photon was the start, but the Rocket Lab spacecraft family has grown,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “We’ve developed a configurable spacecraft line that delivers high performance at scale, supported by an experienced team, technical maturity, a vertically-integrated supply chain, and advanced manufacturing, test and operations facilities. We’ve designed these spacecraft through close collaboration with our customers to support real missions at constellation scale. The hard development work is done, and now these spacecraft are available as off-the-shelf products, or they can be further customized to meet specific mission requirements.”

The spacecraft share many common components and subsystems, designed and manufactured in-house by Rocket Lab, including carbon composite structures, star trackers, reaction wheels, solar arrays, radios, separation systems, avionics, flight and ground software.

"Through vertical integration, we’re able to deliver spacecraft quickly, affordably and reliably using flight-proven components”, says Rocket Lab Vice President Space Systems, Brad Clevenger. “We’ve struck the right balance between commonality to deliver cost-effective, rapid production and ensuring our spacecraft are configurable to suit unique and specific mission profiles.”

Rocket Lab’s family of spacecraft includes:

Photon: The original Rocket Lab spacecraft, Photon is the Company’s integrated launch-plus-spacecraft solution. Photon is a modified Electron Kick Stage with power, propulsion, and communications to deliver a capable low Earth orbit (LEO) platform that serves civil, defense and commercial customers across a range of missions. With a mass of 200-300kg, Photon is launched on Electron for responsive space and other challenging missions like cryogenic fuel demonstration, taking advantage of precision orbit insertion, launch on demand, and the lowest launch environments in industry.

Lightning: Rocket Lab’s newest spacecraft bus is designed for a 12+ year orbital lifespan in LEO, delivers high power and high radiation tolerance, incorporating redundancy in critical subsystems. This ~3 kW bus is ideal for high operational duty cycle telecommunications and remote sensing applications. Lightning can be launched on Neutron and other medium and heavy launch vehicles. Lightning is based on the same design as the custom spacecraft Rocket Lab developed for MDA and Globalstar and is the basis for the Company’s bus for the Space Development Agency.

Pioneer: A highly configurable medium delta-V platform designed to support payloads up to 120 kg and unique mission profiles, including re-entry missions for Varda Space Industries, and dynamic space operations. Depending on the mission profile, Pioneer can be launched on Electron, Neutron or other launch vehicles.

Explorer: A high delta-V spacecraft with large propellant tanks, deep space capable avionics, and ranging transponders. Explorer enables small spacecraft missions to planetary destinations like Mars and Venus, the Moon, highly eccentric Earth orbits, geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO), Earth-moon Lagrange points, Earth-sun Lagrange points, and near Earth objects (NEOs). Depending on the mission profile, Explorer can be launched on Electron, Neutron or other launch vehicles. Explorer gained flight heritage during the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA and forms the basis of the twin spacecraft Rocket Lab is developing for the ESCAPADE mission to Mars for NASA and the University of California, Berkeley.

Each member of Rocket Lab’s spacecraft family is currently in production in a range of quantities for different customers, with more than 40 satellites currently in backlog. To support the rapid production of our family of spacecraft, Rocket Lab has established an advanced spacecraft development and manufacturing complex at the Company’s Long Beach headquarters. The facility includes over 10,000 sq. ft. of cleanroom and 40,000 sq. ft. of additional production & test facilities designed to support constellation class manufacturing and satellite assembly, integration and test for commercial, civil and national security customers.

Source: Rocket Lab

Long Beach,California. 21 February, 2024 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it will launch a dedicated mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia, during a launch window that opens March 20th, 2024.

The NROL-123 mission, called ‘Live and Let Fly’, will be Rocket Lab’s first launch for the NRO from the United States after previously launching four NRO missions from Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. It will be Rocket Lab’s 4th mission from 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.

“Electron has been providing reliable access to orbit for the NRO since 2020 and we’re honored to once again provide critical launch capability, this time from U.S. soil,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “The ability to reliably launch national security missions from pads in two countries is a unique one that offers a rare level of responsiveness and resiliency for small satellite launch. We’re immensely proud to deliver this capability to the NRO, enabling them to maintain the nation’s advantage in space.”

The ‘Live and Let Fly’ launch service was acquired using NRO’s Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract. RASR enables the NRO to explore new opportunities for launching small satellites through a streamlined, commercial approach.NRO missions provide critical information to more than a half-million government users, including every member of the Intelligence Community, two dozen domestic agencies, the military, lawmakers, and decision makers.

The mission is scheduled to be Rocket Lab’s fourth launch of 2024 and 46th Electron launch overall.

Source: Rocket Lab

Mahia, New Zealand. February 19, 2024 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched its 44th Electron rocket, successfully deploying an orbital debris inspection satellite for Astroscale Japan Inc.

The mission, named “On Closer Inspection”, launched from Pad B at Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 03:52 NZDT February 19th, 2024 (14:52 UTC, February 18th). Electron deployed the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J), a satellite designed to test technologies and operations for approaching and monitoring debris objects in orbit, also known as space junk. The mission is the first phase in assessing the potential for satellites to rendezvous with orbital debris objects in future and assist in de-orbiting them, supporting space sustainability for future generations.

Following the successful launch on Electron, the 150-kilogram ADRAS-J satellite will now approach an aged, derelict rocket stage in orbit to observe it closely, understand how it behaves and determine potential methods for its assisted deorbiting in future. The rocket stage it will be observing is the Japanese H-2A upper stage left in low Earth orbit after the launch of the GOSAT Earth observation satellite in 2009. ADRAS-J will fly around the stage, 11 meters long and four meters in diameter, inspecting it with cameras and sensors. Astroscale’s full mission will take between three and six months to complete.

“Congratulations to the Astroscale team on this historic mission that paves the way for new and innovative ways to reduce orbital debris and ensure space remains safely accessible,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “It’s a real honor to provide a dedicated launch service and enable the kind of precise orbital maneuvers required for an advanced mission like this.”

To enable the ADRAS-J satellite to rendezvous with the derelict H-2A upper stage in orbit, Rocket Lab had to design a mission with strict launch timing and precision orbital deployment parameters. Rocket Lab only received the final perigee, apogee, and inclination from Astroscale 20 days before launch, parameters that are typically determined many months in advance of a launch. Only then could argument of perigee targets for different days within the launch window be selected, essentially determining the timing of Electron Kick Stage burns to facilitate the unique elliptical orbit required depending on the launch date. The mission demanded highly accurate orbital insertion with tighter margins than required on most standard missions. The exact T-0 was only able to be defined the day prior to launch and the required LTAN accuracy only allows for +/- 15 seconds, demonstrating Rocket Lab’s capability to deliver rapid and responsive advanced guidance, navigation and control analysis.

“Today’s successful launch of ADRAS-J marks another milestone toward our efforts to grow the on-orbit servicing sector while creating a sustainable space environment,” said Astroscale founder & CEO Nobu Okada. “We are grateful for the collaboration with Rocket Lab, whose expertise in dedicated launch services has been instrumental to the start of this ground breaking mission.”

Source: Rocket Lab

Mahia, New Zealand. January 31, 2024 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today launched its first Electron mission for 2024, a space-junk focused mission for Spire Global, Inc (“Spire”) and NorthStar Earth & Space (“NorthStar”).

The ‘Four Of A Kind’ mission for Spire’s customer NorthStar successfully launched from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 19:34 NZDT / 06:34 UTC. Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket deployed four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites to a 530km circular Earth orbit where the satellites, built and operated by Spire, will monitor near-Earth objects from space to provide timely and precise information for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts. The mission was Rocket Lab’s 43rd Electron launch overall, bringing the Company’s record of successfully deployed satellites to 176. The mission was the first of a busy launch year for Rocket Lab, with the Company scheduled to launch more in 2024 than any previous year since the Company began missions in 2017.

The mission also resulted in the successful return of the rocket’s first stage after launch as part of Rocket Lab’s plan to evolve Electron into a reusable rocket. After launch and stage separation, Electron’s booster made its way back to Earth under a parachute and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at approximately 17 minutes post lift-off. Rocket Lab’s recovery operations are currently underway to retrieve the stage and bring it back to the Company’s production complex for a post-launch review and analysis before proceeding to one of the program’s final tasks: reusing a previously-launched first stage on a future mission.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, says: “The success of today’s mission to deliver Spire & NorthStar to orbit, and the completion of our secondary mission to return Electron to Earth after launch, has been a fantastic start of what is set to be Rocket Lab’s busiest year ever. We have more missions booked in 2024 than we’ve ever scheduled before, and it is a real privilege to continue to deliver small launch reliability for our satellite customers on advanced missions like these and for all the missions to come in 2024.”

‘Four Of A Kind’ is Rocket Lab’s first Electron launch in a sold-out 2024 mission manifest that includes multiple upcoming launches for NASA; hypersonic technology tests on suborbital HASTE missions from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 in Virginia; the beginning or continuation of block launches for satellite operators BlackSky, Synspective, and Kineis; and several other launches for commercial and defense sector mission partners.

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, the Photon satellite platform, 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 176 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 Photon spacecraft platform has 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.

Source: Rocket Lab

Berlin, Germany — 11 January 2024 — Exolaunch, the premier global provider of launch mission management, integration, and deployment services, announced today plans to deploy four Canadian NorthStar Earth & Space satellites, built by Spire Global, and launched via Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. Exolaunch will provide separation systems, deployment, and integration services to ensure mission success for the first tech demo satellites for NorthStar’s commercial, space-based Space Situational Awareness (SSA) services.

This initial cluster of four satellites will create a space-based SSA constellation, with NorthStar being the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering advanced services with precise information for resident space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.

The integration of four 16U satellites into the EXOpod Nova deployers was completed successfully in December at Spire’s Glasgow facility, marking a significant milestone in the collaborative efforts between Exolaunch and Spire. This achievement underscores Exolaunch’s commitment to excellence, proven capabilities to deliver reliable separation system hardware, and industry-leading launch mission management and integration services.

Exolaunch’s EXOpod Nova is a next-generation deployer based on customer specifications for an expanded envelope cubesat. The EXOpod Nova increases the allowable satellite mass by up to thirty percent and the available side panel volume by a factor of four compared to traditional cubesat deployers, enabling satellite manufacturers to build more robust and capable technologies while reducing costs.

The next phase of integration was completed over the first week of January in Māhia, New Zealand, where Exolaunch oversaw the satellite integration with Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle. This process is a key step forward in preparing for launch from the same site, slated for no earlier than the 18th of January 2024.

“We are delighted to reach new heights in our established partnership with Spire, proud to support NorthStar’s first mission in their new constellation, and pleased to collaborate once again with the Rocket Lab team,” said Exolaunch’s chief commercial officer, Jeanne Allarie. “The smooth integration of satellites with the industry-leading EXOpod Nova deployers demonstrates our dedication to continuous innovation and proven reliability. We look forward to a successful launch on Electron.”

“Spire's dedication to innovation, coupled with Exolaunch's proven capabilities, marks a significant leap forward in advancing the capabilities of NorthStar's constellation,” said Frank Frulio, the general manager of Space Services at Spire. “As we embark on this groundbreaking mission, the collaboration between Spire, Exolaunch, NorthStar, and Rocket Lab exemplifies the seamless integration of expertise, technology and dedication to shaping the future of space services.”

“Exolaunch has played an important role in the launch preparations for NorthStar’s first block of 4 satellites,” said David Saint-Germain, NorthStar’s Chief Operating Officer. “Teamwork and dedication to detail and precision make all the difference. Exolaunch has been a real asset to our inaugural launch campaign.”

About Exolaunch

Exolaunch (Germany, USA) is a global leader in launch mission integration and deployment technologies. With a decade of flight heritage and over 350 satellites launched across 24 missions as of January 2024, Exolaunch leverages industry insight to tailor turn-key solutions that meet customer needs and respond to market trends. Exolaunch fulfills launch contracts for industry leaders, the world's most innovative start-ups, research institutions, government organizations, and international space agencies. The company develops and manufactures its own flight-proven and industry-leading small satellite separation systems, with the fastest-growing heritage on the market. Exolaunch is committed to making space accessible to all and to promoting its safe, sustainable, and responsible use.

About Spire

Spire (NYSE: SPIR) is a global provider of space-based data, analytics, and space services, offering unique datasets and powerful insights about Earth so that organizations can make decisions with confidence in a rapidly changing world. Spire builds, owns, and operates a fully deployed satellite constellation that observes the Earth in real time using radio frequency technology. The data acquired by Spire’s satellites provides global weather intelligence, ship and plane movements, and spoofing and jamming detection to better predict how their patterns impact economies, global security, business operations, and the environment. Spire also offers Space as a Service solutions that empower customers to leverage its established infrastructure to put their business in space. Spire has nine offices across the U.S., Canada, UK, Luxembourg, Germany and Singapore. To learn more, visit www.spire.com.

About NorthStar

NorthStar Earth & Space was founded in 2015 by Telesystem, based in Montreal, and KinetX, a specialized engineering firm located in Arizona. It has 70 employees, including 50 in Canada. NorthStar is the first commercial service to monitor near-Earth orbits from space. NorthStar’s precise information services identify and anticipate the position of space objects to enhance spaceflight safety. With headquarters in Montreal, Canada, a European headquarters in Luxembourg, and a dedicated US operation in McLean, Virginia, NorthStar addresses the ever-growing threat of space collisions as a major contribution to empower humanity to preserve our planet.


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