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Rocket Lab enters high frequency launch operations

Press Release From: Rocket Lab Ltd
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

It’s Business Time launch window confirmed as concurrent launch operations underway for back-to-back missions in November and December

Huntington Beach, California. 30 October, 2018 PDT: US orbital launch provider Rocket Lab has today confirmed the launch window for the upcoming ‘It’s Business Time’ mission. The nine-day launch window will open from 11 to 19 November (NZDT), with daily launch opportunities between 16:00 – 20:00 NZDT (03:00 – 07:00 UTC).
 
The Electron launch vehicle is on site at Launch Complex 1 undergoing final pre-launch checkouts, following a final successful stage one static fire test last week.
 
As operations for the It’s Business Time launch are underway, Rocket Lab has scaled its team and facilities to enable concurrent operations for the upcoming NASA mission, scheduled to launch in December 2018. The Electron vehicle for NASA’s ELaNa XIX payloads will undergo final stage testing in the coming weeks before delivery to Launch Complex 1 during It’s Business Time launch operations.
 
Rocket Lab also recently completed two new clean room facilities at Launch Complex 1 to enable payloads for different missions to undergo payload integration simultaneously in separate, secure locations. Each 100k class clean room is equipped with lifting and break-over tools, as well as secure and dedicated customer lounges offering views of payload integration.
 
The ability to conduct overlapping engine hot fires, full static stage tests, payload integration and launch operations for multiple missions is a key factor in Rocket Lab’s ability to meet a high-frequency launch cadence. Following the opening of Rocket Lab’s latest production facility this month, the company is scaling operations to build, test and launch an Electron every week by the end of 2020.
 
Rocket Lab Founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck says that while successfully reaching orbit and deploying payloads this year was a significant milestone for the company, transitioning from this to regular, streamlined production and launch operations cements Rocket Lab’s position as leader in the small launch industry.
 
 “This year has been about scaling our team, facilities and processes to enable reliable, high frequency Electron launches to orbit. The ability to build and test multiple vehicles, while operating concurrent launch campaigns, strongly positions Rocket Lab as the industry leader opening access to space for small satellites,” says Mr. Beck.
 
It’s Business Time mission details:
 It’s Business Time will loft six satellites, plus a technology demonstrator, to Low Earth Orbit. The payloads will be launched to a 300 km x 500km parking orbit at 85 degrees, before being circularized to a 500 km x 500 km orbit using Rocket Lab’s Curie engine powered kick stage.
 
The It's Business Time manifest includes satellites from Spire Global, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Fleet Space Technologies, and the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP). The mission will also launch a drag sail technology demonstrator designed and built by High Performance Space Structure Systems GmBH (HPS GmbH). More information about payloads and mission details can be found in the attached It’s Business Time press kit.

Launch window:
Sunday 11 November – Monday 19 November 2018, NZDT
 
Daily launch opportunities:
NZDT:  16:00 – 20:00
UTC:      03:00 – 07:00
PST:      19:00 – 23:00
EST:       22:00 – 02:00
ENDS

Rocket Lab Media Contact:
Morgan Bailey
(+64) 27 538 9039 | media@rocketlabusa.com
 
Images and video content:
www.rocketlabusa.com/gallery/
 
About Rocket Lab:
Rocket Lab develops and launches advanced rocket technology to provide rapid and repeatable access to orbit for small satellites. Our mission is to open access to space to improve life on Earth. Rocket Lab has developed the world’s first fully carbon composite orbital launch vehicle, Electron, which is powered by 3D printed, electric pump-fed engines. Electron is a two-stage vehicle capable of delivering payloads of 150 kg to a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit. Rocket Lab also operates the world’s only private orbital launch site, Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, which is licensed to launch every 72 hours.
 
On January 21 2018, Rocket Lab reached orbit with the launch of the Electron vehicle and successfully deployed the company’s first commercial payloads. It marked a significant milestone in eliminating commercial barriers and ushering in a new era of unprecedented access to space. Founded in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab is headquartered in Los Angeles and is a privately funded company with investors including Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC (Data Collective), Lockheed Martin, Promus Ventures and K1W1.

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