Rocket Lab USA has announced a contract with Leidos to launch four HASTE (Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron) missions. These missions are scheduled to take place between 2024 and 2025 at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 in Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
Rocket Lab was chosen by Leidos to provide hypersonic test launch capabilities with HASTE as part of the MACH-TB project. The project was awarded by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane through the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) Other Transaction Authority (OTA) vehicle on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center (TRMC).
The first HASTE mission took place in June 2023 and demonstrated the vehicle’s ability to accelerate hypersonic flight testing. Now, Rocket Lab will conduct four additional missions for Leidos to support hypersonic technology innovation and maturation.
Rocket Lab’s HASTE suborbital launch vehicle is based on the company’s Electron rocket but has been modified to accommodate hypersonic payload deployment. Leveraging the low-cost capabilities of the Electron, HASTE offers commercial testing at a fraction of the cost of full-scale tests.
It is important to note that HASTE is operated under Rocket Lab National Security (RLNS), a subsidiary created specifically to meet the needs of the U.S. defense and intelligence community and its allies.
This partnership between Rocket Lab and Leidos highlights the growing demand for hypersonic technology testing and the role that commercial companies can play in supporting these efforts. With the successful demonstration of HASTE’s capabilities, Rocket Lab is well-positioned to continue contributing to the advancement of hypersonic technology.