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Rocket Lab Marks Milestone with Successful Launch of NRO Mission from US Soil
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Rocket Lab Marks Milestone with Successful Launch of NRO Mission from US Soil
by Clarence Oxford
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Mar 22, 2024

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB), a major player in launch services and space systems, has successfully executed the NROL-123 mission, named 'Live and Let Fly', for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). This mission, launched on March 21, 2024, at 03:25 EDT using the Electron launch vehicle from Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia, signifies Rocket Lab's first launch for the NRO from U.S. territory. Previously, Rocket Lab conducted four NRO missions from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission underscores Rocket Lab's expanding capabilities and marks its fourth operation from Launch Complex 2 within Virginia Spaceport Authority's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and the NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Peter Beck, Rocket Lab's founder and CEO, expressed pride in achieving mission success for the NRO with Electron, highlighting the trust the NRO has placed in Rocket Lab since their inaugural joint launch in 2020. He emphasized the significance of providing dedicated access to orbit for national security missions from a global stance. The launch utilized the NRO's Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract, demonstrating an agile, commercial approach to satellite launches that enhances opportunities for launching small satellites. The RASR contract reflects an innovative procurement method by the NRO, aiming to leverage commercial launch services' speed and responsiveness.

NRO missions are integral to national security, delivering crucial data to over half a million government users across the Intelligence Community, military, lawmakers, and various domestic agencies. This launch marks Rocket Lab's fourth venture of 2024 and its 46th Electron launch, further solidifying its position as a leader in the space launch industry.

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