Rocket Lab's 1st launch of 2020 is for the National Reconnaissance Office, the US spysat agency

Space.com | 1/31/2020 | Tariq Malik
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The small-satellite launch company Rocket Lab will fly its first mission for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) next week, kicking off a busy 2020 that also includes plans for a new launchpad and headquarters.

Rocket Lab's first Electron launch of the year will be NROL-151, a previously unannounced flight for the clandestine NRO, the U.S. spy satellite agency. The mission, which Rocket Lab has nicknamed "Birds of a Feather," will fly from the company's Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand's North Island. Liftoff is set for Friday, Jan. 31, local time in New Zealand (Thursday, Jan. 30 EST).

NRO - Rocket - Lab - Launch - Provider

“We are honored the NRO has selected Rocket Lab as the launch provider for this dedicated mission," Lars Hoffman, Rocket Lab's senior vice president for Global Launch Services, said in a statement Monday (Jan. 20). "The Electron launch vehicle is perfectly positioned to provide the kind of rapid and responsive access to space that puts the NRO in complete control over their own launch schedule and orbital requirements."

The 57-foot-tall (17 meters) Electron booster is designed to launch satellites weighting up to 500 lbs. (227 kilograms) into orbit for about $5 million per flight.

Video - Watch - Rocket - Lab - Electron

Video: Watch Rocket Lab's latest Electron rocket launch!

The small satellite launch company Rocket Lab will launch the clandestine NROL-151 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office as early as Jan. 31, 2020 local New Zealand time (Jan. 30 EST).

Satellite - Launch - Company - Rocket - Lab

The small satellite launch company Rocket Lab will launch the clandestine NROL-151 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office as early as Jan. 31, 2020 local New Zealand time (Jan. 30 EST).

The small satellite launch company Rocket Lab will launch the clandestine NROL-151 satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office as early as Jan. 31, 2020 local New Zealand time (Jan. 30 EST).

NRO

The NRO tapped...
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