Thursday, March 9, 2023

Electron rocket scheduled for launch from Virginia’s Wallops Island

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will support the launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket on Thursday. A two-hour launch window is set to open at 6 p.m. EST.

The 59-foot-tall Electron rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

The mission, named “Stronger Together,” will be the second Rocket Lab launch from Wallops. The first Electron launch from Wallops occurred in January.

Thursday’s launch will carry two observation satellites into low Earth orbit for the company Capella Space.

A pioneer in the Earth observation industry, Capella is the first U.S. company with a constellation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites delivering high-quality SAR imagery of Earth. Headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., the company has additional locations in Denver, Colo., and Washington, D.C.

In February, Rocket Lab and Capella Space secured a multi-launch deal of four Electron missions. Each Electron mission will deploy a single Earth-imaging Acadia satellite.

“We delivered mission success for Capella in our first mission for them in 2020 and now we’re thrilled they’ve entrusted us with a further five missions to help expand their growing SAR constellation,” Rocket Lab CEO and Founder Peter Beck said in a company press release.

“We are experiencing increased market demand for our highest-quality SAR data, and this announcement underscores Capella’s strong commitment to our global customers across the defense and intelligence and commercial markets,” said Capella Space CEO and Founder Payam Banazadeh.

Capella Space joins a growing list of commercial constellation operators who have entrusted Rocket Lab to deploy their spacecraft. Companies include BlackSky Global, Hawkeye 360, Synspective, Kineis, Planet, Spire, Fleet Space, and more.

For those interested in viewing the launch in person, viewing locations on Chincoteague Island include Robert Reed Park, Curtis Merritt Harbor, and the Beach Road causeway between Chincoteague and Assateague islands.

Weather permitting, the launch may be visible along much of the U.S. East Coast.

No comments: