Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket arrives at Wallops in preparation for December launch

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An Electron rocket arrives at the Rocket Lab facility in Wallops on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. Photo courtesy of Rocket Lab.

By Carol Vaughn

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket arrived at Wallops Island on Wednesday, October 12, in preparation for the company’s first launch from Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, scheduled for December.

The launch will also be the company’s first from the United States. Rocket Lab’s original launch complex is in New Zealand.

The mission will deploy satellites for radio frequency geospatial analysis provider HawkEye 360.

“We can’t wait to see Electron take to the skies of Virginia for the first time very soon,” said Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab.

“Rocket Lab has been providing reliable and responsive access to orbit for more than four and a half years with Electron and we are excited to build on this strong legacy by forging a new path to orbit from here on the coast. Eastern Virginia. We are excited to work with the dedicated teams at NASA, Virginia Space, Accomack County and HawkEye 360 ​​to launch this historic mission and begin a new era of space access. said Beck.

The December mission is the first of three planned for HawkEye 360, under a contract under which Rocket Lab will deliver 15 satellites to low Earth orbit between the end of 2022 and 2024.

Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 2 in Wallops was developed to support missions from US soil for government and commercial customers, according to a press release.

The company scheduled the mission for December, “encouraged by NASA’s recent progress in certifying its Autonomous Flight Termination Unit software, which is required to enable Electron launches from Virginia,” the statement said.

Launch preparations include a standard launch dress rehearsal and payload integration, which will be performed at Rocket Lab’s integration and control facilities near the launch site.

Rocket Lab launched 31 Electron missions from its New Zealand site. Combined with the Wallops launch site, more than 130 launches per year can be supported, according to the company,

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