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Rocket Lab to Build Military Satellites for Space Agency

Rocket Lab

“We open access to space to improve the life of Earth.” That’s what Rocket Lab says in much of its marketing. In their December 21 legal submission, Rocket Lab announced that it would design, build, transport, and operate eighteen spacecraft for an undisclosed U.S. government customer. The Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA) is a portion of the vast military satellite network that the Space Development Agency (SDA) made clear is covered by this contract.

The California-based Rocket Lab has been expanding its space systems business recently, and this SDA contract is the company’s first major satellite development contract. In November, the business announced plans to open a new Space Structures Complex in Maryland in order to expand its production capacity. Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, mentioned that 2024 is on track to be their most active launch year to date, with a fully scheduled manifest of Electron missions.

The Satellite Business Expansion of Rocket Lab

With its main office located in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab is a prominent provider of small-satellite launch services. It launches its Electron rockets from spaceports located in Virginia and New Zealand. The business plans to launch its biggest rocket, Neutron, in 2025 with a focus on innovation. Rocket Lab has greatly expanded its company outside its primary focus of launch services by entering the burgeoning Space Systems market. This firm produces spacecraft and their components for both government and private customers. Notably, Rocket Lab’s largest effort into the satellite industry is a recent deal with the Space Development Agency (SDA), which represents a significant milestone.

Electron: Exclusive Space Access for Small Satellites

Whether used for ridesharing or as a dedicated mission, the unique Electron Kick Stage is expertly designed to deliver small satellites to precise and unique orbits. In order to help reduce space junk, it can be used to deploy payloads across a variety of planes and inclinations, deploy at higher altitudes, support hosted payloads, facilitate multiple course changes, enable sustained low-altitude orbits, and coordinate the deorbiting of payloads.

Rocket Lab’s Innovative Space Projects

Rocket Lab has been at the forefront of satellite technology. The corporation made a calculated move in 2022 by forming a national security subsidiary with an emphasis on the US defense and intelligence industry, following the launch of its Photon satellite line in 2019. Rocket Lab’s two $14 million contracts to provide separate systems for Space Development Agency satellites demonstrate the company’s dedication to quality. These devices are critical to the deployment of 84 satellites, including those made by Lockheed Martin and an unidentified company associated with SDA. They will enable the attachment and release of those in orbit. 

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