Rocket Lab is attempting to demonstrate its fastest launch rate ever by completing two consecutive missions for the US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to be flown 10 days apart. The first mission, dubbed “The Wise Look Forward” or NROL-162, is due to launch no earlier than July 12 at 1:00 am EST (5:00 am UTC) from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. .
The fast pace is due in part to the completion of the second launch pad at the launch complexes. This will allow Rocket Lab to launch this first mission from Site A (LC-1A) and the second mission from Site B (LC-1B) no earlier than July 22. Rocket Lab announced the completion of the second launch pad in February. Including the company’s launch site at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, which has not yet been used, Rocket Lab now has three launch sites at its disposal.
“What we’re doing here with Site B is essentially doubling our launch capacity,” Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said in a video about the new infrastructure. He added that the three launch sites give Rocket Lab the ability to launch from both hemispheres of the Earth, that “for our commercial customers and some of our government customers, they have the ability to choose which site they want to use and which site best suits their schedule. “.
Not much is known about satellite payloads, although it is by design – Rocket Lab launches them on behalf of the NRO, the government agency that builds and operates satellites used for intelligence and homeland security. We know that these satellites were developed in collaboration with the Australian Department of Defense, part of a wider alliance between the two countries.
These two Rocket Lab launches are part of a larger NRO contract. A contract model called Rapid Acquisition of Small Rocket (RASR) is designed for NRO to work with commercial partners for fast launches on a large scale. First two launches under contract Rocket Lab with RASR flew in 2020.
Credit: techcrunch.com /