Rocket Lab On Track to Launch National Security Mission for National Reconnaissance Office

Rocket Lab USA’s Electron launch vehicle is on the launch pad and ready for lift-off with a national security mission for the United States Government’s National Reconnaissance Office.

Rocket Lab delays return to action, dual satellite launch, and booster recovery attempt

Scheduled to launch from Pad A at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 during a launch window opening on July 12 at 05:00 UTC, the NROL-162 / “Wise One Looks Ahead” mission will be delivered to space on Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket.

The launch operations team has completed a clear run through the “Wise One Looks Ahead” launch rehearsal after the NROL-162 satellite was successfully mated to Electron at Launch Complex 1. The mission will be deployed from the Electron rocket’s Kick Stage, the low Earth orbit configuration of the rocket’s upper stage that was recently used to successfully deliver NASA’s CAPSTONE satellite on its mission to the Moon.

Wise One Looks Ahead” is the first of two responsive space missions for the NRO scheduled to launch within only 10 days of each other, with NROL-199 (“Antipodean Adventure”) scheduled to launch from Launch Complex 1 Pad B no earlier than July 22.

The NROL-162 and NROL-199 missions will carry national security payloads designed, built, and operated by the National Reconnaissance Office 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 including the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, as well as international drug traffickers and criminal organisations; support international peacekeeping and humanitarian relief operations, and assess the impact of natural disasters.

“Wise One Looks Ahead” launch details:

  • Launch Window Opens: July 12, UTC
  • Launch vehicle: Electron
  • Customer: National Reconnaissance Office
  • Launch site: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, Pad A
  • Mission type: Dedicated
  • Payload: NROL-162

“Antipodean Adventure” launch details:

  • Launch Window Opens: July 22, UTC
  • Launch vehicle: Electron
  • Customer: National Reconnaissance Office
  • Launch site: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, Pad B
  • Mission type: Dedicated
  • Payload: NROL-199

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