QuoteNorthStar pivots to Rocket Lab following Virgin Orbit’s collapseJune 22, 2023Canada’s NorthStar Earth and Space has signed a multi-launch deal with Rocket Lab after Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy shattered plans to start deploying its space situational awareness (SSA) satellites this summer.Rocket Lab is contracted to launch the venture’s first four satellites this fall on an Electron rocket, NorthStar announced June 22. NorthStar had planned to launch three satellites in its initial batch with Virgin Orbit, before the air-launch company fell into bankruptcy in April.[...]He said the agreement with Rocket Lab includes another two missions of four satellites that could start launching as early as next year.[...]Saint-Germain said Rocket Lab is slated to deploy NorthStar’s initial batch of satellites from its launch site in New Zealand.
NorthStar pivots to Rocket Lab following Virgin Orbit’s collapseJune 22, 2023Canada’s NorthStar Earth and Space has signed a multi-launch deal with Rocket Lab after Virgin Orbit’s bankruptcy shattered plans to start deploying its space situational awareness (SSA) satellites this summer.Rocket Lab is contracted to launch the venture’s first four satellites this fall on an Electron rocket, NorthStar announced June 22. NorthStar had planned to launch three satellites in its initial batch with Virgin Orbit, before the air-launch company fell into bankruptcy in April.[...]He said the agreement with Rocket Lab includes another two missions of four satellites that could start launching as early as next year.[...]Saint-Germain said Rocket Lab is slated to deploy NorthStar’s initial batch of satellites from its launch site in New Zealand.
NorthStar raises $15 million for debris-tracking satellites waiting on Rocket LabDecember 6, 2023[...]NorthStar pivoted to Rocket Lab for a fall launch only to face another delay following the September failure of the company’s Electron rocket to deploy an imaging satellite for Capella Space.After completing an investigation into the failure, Rocket Lab recently said it expects to return to flight from its launchpad in New Zealand no earlier than Dec. 13, with a mission for Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space. (iQPS), a Japan-based Earth imaging company.NorthStar was second in line to launch before Rocket Lab’s September failure. Rocket Lab said it plans to share details of the next mission in the queue after launching iQPS. The company’s fastest turnaround record to date between Electron launches is seven days.Stewart Bain, NorthStar’s CEO, declined to say where its satellites are now in Rocket Lab’s pipeline but said they are currently being packed at Spire’s facilities in Glasgow, Scotland, to be shipped soon to New Zealand.[...]
Speculation: it appears Rocket Labs next mission with North Star might be called “four of a kind”
Rocket Lab to Launch Space Situational Awareness Mission for Spire and NorthStarJanuary 8, 2024ONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it has set the launch window for its first mission of 2024.The ‘Four of a Kind’ mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than January 18 between 19:15-20:00 NZT (January 18 between 06:15-07:00 UTC) from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission will deploy four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites for Spire Global, Inc’s (Spire) customer NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar). NorthStar´s satellites, built and operated by Spire, will be the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering a radically enhanced level of SSA services to the global satellite community, with timely and precise information for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.As a secondary mission, Rocket Lab will be attempting to splash down and retrieve Electron’s first stage as part of the Company’s plan to evolve Electron into a reusable rocket. After launch and stage separation, Electron’s first stage will return to Earth under a parachute and splash down in the Pacific Ocean several hundred kilometers down range from Launch Complex 1. Rocket Lab’s recovery vessel will extract the stage from the water for transportation back to Rocket Lab’s production complex where it will undergo detailed analysis. Rocket Lab is not launching any pre-flown engines as part of this mission.[...]‘Four of a Kind’ will be Rocket Lab’s first launch as part of a sold-out launch manifest for 2024 and will be the Company’s 43rd Electron mission overall.
Red Electron? You know what that means: it’s time for another recovery mission!Our first launch of 2024 will further our efforts to make Electron the world’s first reusable small rocket. Here’s the detail on how we recover and reuse Electron.For every recovery launch we first integrate TPS, or a thermal-protection system, to Electron’s first stage. This material helps protect Electron’s carbon composite structure as it experiences extreme forces on its way back to Earth from space.
After lift-off, once Electron reaches space, the rocket’s first and second stages separate – and so begins the booster’s journey back to Earth. The rocket’s RCS, or reaction control system, activates after separation to position Electron’s first stage at the correct angle to make it back through Earth’s atmosphere.Then it’s parachute time! First the rocket’s drogue chute deploys for the initial slowdown followed by its second and much larger chute, to really put on the brakes before ocean splashdown. From several times the speed of sound to just ~10 meters per second by the time Electron reaches the water.Splashdown means it’s time for our recovery team to move in. After pulling up alongside Electron on the recovery vessel, the team brings the first stage up and out of the ocean onto the ship’s deck, where it’s secured for the ride home.Now Electron’s heading back to where it all started: our rocket production complex, where our reusability team takes over to assess its condition, identify components for reuse, and fine tune systems for the next attempt as we move closer to reusing a full first stage.
Exolaunch Will Deploy Four Spire-Built Satellites for NorthStar via Rocket Lab’s Electron11 January 2024Exolaunch, 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.[...]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.[...]
130554Z JAN 24HYDROPAC 145/24(76).WESTERN SOUTH PACIFIC.NEW ZEALAND.DNC 06.1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, ROCKET LAUNCHING 0615Z TO 0700Z DAILY 18 THRU 28 JAN IN AREA BOUND BY 39-13.14S 177-35.60E, 39-10.84S 178-05.83E, 39-45.88S 178-10.27E, 39-47.49S 177-35.14E.2. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS 0615Z TO 0700Z DAILY 18 THRU 28 JAN IN AREA BOUND BY 42-48.00S 176-12.00E, 43-12.00S 178-06.00E, 46-48.00S 176-48.00E, 46-18.00S 174-36.00E.3. CANCEL THIS MSG 280800Z JAN 24.
130627Z JAN 24HYDROPAC 146/24(76).WESTERN SOUTH PACIFIC.DNC 06.1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS 0615Z TO 0700Z DAILY 18 THRU 28 JAN IN AREA BOUND BY 52-00.00S 172-36.00E, 52-21.00S 174-42.00E 56-24.00S 173-12.00E, 56-06.00S 170-42.00E.2. CANCEL THIS MSG 280800Z JAN 24.
We’re stacked and ready to go 💪The @SpireGlobal & @NorthStarEandS payload is sitting safe & secure inside the fairing after integration & encapsulation at Launch Complex 1. Electron will carry four satellites to a 530km orbit for our first mission of 2024, launching this week on Jan 18 UTC. 'Four Of A Kind' launch window opens:Jan 18, UTC | 06:15Jan 18, NZDT | 19:15Jan 18, ET | 01:15Jan 17, PT | 22:15More info: https://rocketlabusa.com/missions/next-mission/
The countdown is on! Final Electron assembly is complete at LC-1 ahead of launch rehearsal today for our 43rd Electron mission ‘Four Of A Kind’, set to deliver satellites to space for @SpireGlobal & @northstareands NET Jan 18.We’re also going rocket fishing on this recovery mission to return Electron’s booster to Earth from space after it splashes down in the ocean.Four Of A Kind launch window opens:Jan 18, UTC | 06:15Jan 18, NZDT | 19:15Jan 18, ET | 01:15Jan 17, PT | 22:15Launch info: rocketlabusa.com/missions/next-…
Charter Rocket Lab recovery ship Seasurveyor has departed from Christchurch, on New Zealand's South Island, and is heading offshore for the upcoming Four Of A Kind mission.Rocket Lab will attempt to recover the Electron first stage, following soft splashdown in the ocean.
To allow time for final pre-launch checkouts, and account for an incoming weather system, we are now targeting no earlier than 27 January NZT for the launch of ‘Four Of A Kind’ for @spireglobal and @northstarEandS.Launch Window Opens:UTC | 06:15 (27 Jan)NZDT | 19:15 (27 Jan)EST | 01:15 (27 Jan)PST | 22:15 (26 Jan)
For our 43rd Electron launch, we’ll be bringing back Electron as part of our latest recovery mission. To help protect against re-entry forces as Electron returns from space, this rocket includes a silver heat protection called TPS, and an extended carbon-composite shield to protect the Rutherford engines.Mission info: rocketlabusa.com/missions/next-…
We're thrilled to be supporting @SpireGlobal and @NorthStarEandS with the launch of four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) sats - the first to simultaneously monitor near-Earth objects from space to deliver timely and preciseinfo for space object detection, tracking, orbitdetermination, collision avoidance, navigation, andproximity alerts 🛰️🌎'Four Of A Kind' launch window opens NET January 27th. Launch info: https://rocketlabusa.com/missions/next-mission/
250415Z JAN 24HYDROPAC 291/24(76).WESTERN SOUTH PACIFIC.NEW ZEALAND.DNC 06.1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, ROCKET LAUNCHING 0615Z TO 0700Z DAILY 28 JAN THRU 09 FEB IN AREA BOUND BY 39-47.49S 177-35.14E, 39-13.14S 177-35.60E, 39-10.84S 178-05.73E, 39-45.88S 178-10.27E.2. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS 0615Z TO 0700Z DAILY 28 JAN THRU 09 FEB IN AREA BOUND BY 46-18.00S 174-36.00E, 42-48.00S 176-12.00E, 43-12.00S 178-06.00E, 46-48.00S 176-48.00E.3. CANCEL HYDROPAC 145/24.4. CANCEL THIS MSG 090800Z FEB 24.//
250251Z JAN 24HYDROPAC 290/24(76).WESTERN SOUTH PACIFIC.DNC 06.1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS 0615Z TO 0700Z DAILY 28 JAN THRU 09 FEB IN AREA BOUND BY 56-06.00S 170-42.00E, 52-00.00S 172-36.00E, 52-21.00S 174-42.00E, 56-24.00S 173-12.00E.2. CANCEL HYDROPAC 146/24.3. CANCEL THIS MSG 090800Z FEB 24.
With an "upper tropospheric cyclonic vortex" causing unsettled weather, our launch attempt for ‘Four Of A Kind’ for @spireglobal & @northstarEandS is now targeted for Sunday 28th NZT. The weather is likely to be touch and go, so stayed tuned for updates on launch day.Launch window opens:Jan 28, UTC | 06:15Jan 28, NZDT | 19:15Jan 28, ET | 01:15Jan 27, PT | 22:15