Rocket Lab’s first NRO launch from Wallops successful

March 21, 2024
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Image Credit Brady Kenniston

Brady Kenniston photo.

Rocket Lab successfully launched a dedicated mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia.

The NROL-123 mission, called ‘Live and Let Fly’, was launched on a Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle at 03:25 EDT on March 21, 2024. The mission was 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 was also Rocket Lab’s 4th mission from Launch Complex 2 within Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

“We are proud to once again deliver mission success for the NRO on Electron,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “The NRO have placed their trust in Rocket Lab since our first launch together in 2020 and it’s an honor to continue delivering dedicated access to orbit for national security missions, this time from the other side of the planet. The RASR contract process is an innovative, forward-leaning approach from the NRO that has allowed the agency to capitalize on the speed and responsiveness of commercial launch services and we’re thrilled to make it possible with Electron.”

Mapp, Mapp and Klein Injury Attorneys

The 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 was Rocket Lab’s fourth launch of 2024 and 46th Electron launch overall.

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