Rocket Lab announces a new launch window for the Electron rocket mission

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Private space company Rocket Lab has announced the launch window of its debut Electron rocket mission from US soil. The “Virginia Is For Launch Lovers” mission will depart NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on January 23, 2023 from 6-8 p.m. ET.

If successful, the mission will place three radio frequency surveillance satellites in low Earth orbit for Virginia-based company HawkEye 360, the first of 15 to be deployed by Rocket Lab by 2024. This first mission was initially scheduled to launch in December 2022, but was postponed back due to adverse weather conditions.

“Electron made history by becoming the most launched small orbital rocket worldwide,” Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said in a press release. “With the support of our partners at NASA and Virginia Space, we look forward to building on this strong heritage of mission success with the first of many missions from Wallops.”

California-based Rocket Lab has already launched 152 small satellites from the company’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand since 2017. The delivery system – the orbital Electron rocket – has flown more than 30 orbital missions to date. In particular, the company last year tried to catch one of its Electron missiles in flight using a helicopter in an effort to reduce production costs by reusing equipment. While it technically succeeded in capturing the missile, the helicopter then dropped it into the ocean.

A live stream of the launch will be available on the Rocket Lab website approximately 40 minutes before launch.

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