At 05:00 UTC on August 4, 2022, Rocket Lab successfully launched the company’s second of two, back-to-back, national security missions for the National Reconnaissance Office.
Highlights of this mission include:
- This mission follows the successful delivery to orbit of its predecessor NROL-162 three weeks earlier, launched on the “Wise One Looks Ahead” mission on July 13, 2022.
- The launches of NROL-162 and NROL-199, combined with the successful launch of the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA on June 28, 2022, make up a record launch cadence for Rocket Lab of three successful Electron launches in just over five weeks.
- The turnaround between NROL-162 and this NROL-199 launch is the shortest time between national security missions by a small launch provider, setting a new standard in responsive space.
Previous mission postings…
Electron is on the pad and ready to launch a national security mission for the National Reconnaissance Office — the second of two missions for the NRO from a spaceport outside the United States.
Lift-off of NROL-199 was scheduled for:
- UTC | 05:00, Aug 4
- NZT | 17:00, Aug 4
- EDT | 01:00, Aug
- PDT | 22:00, Aug 3
Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) has confirmed that the second of two, back-to-back, national security launches for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), originally scheduled for August 2 UTC, is now pushed out to at least Thursday, August 4th, due to rather windy conditions.
The NROL-199 (“Antipodean Adventure”) mission was scheduled to lift-off from Pad B at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 during a launch window opening on August 2, 05:00 UTC. This Electron mission follows on from an earlier successful launch for the NRO on July 12, 2022 that deployed the NROL-162 national security payload to orbit.
The NROL-199 mission will launch a national security payload designed, built, and operated by the NRO in partnership with the Australian Department of Defence as part of a broad range of cooperative satellite activities with Australia. The satellites will support the NRO to provide critical information to government agencies and decision makers monitoring international issues
The mission was originally scheduled for lift-off on July 22; however, the launch was rescheduled to allow the NRO additional time to implement required payload software updates. This schedule shift demonstrated Rocket Lab’s responsive space capabilities, which provide customers with a high degree of flexibility over their mission, including orbit and launch timing. By operating a private launch complex, Rocket Lab doesn’t have to wait in a launch queue behind other operators and could instead quickly reschedule the launch to suit the NRO’s preferred timeline.
“Antipodean Adventure” launch details:
Launch Window Opens: August 02, 05:00 UTC Launch vehicle: Electron Customer: National Reconnaissance Office Launch site: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, Pad B Mission type: Dedicated Payload: NROL-199