Rocket Lab to Conduct Space Situational Awareness Mission for Spire and NorthStar

Rocket Lab USA has announced the launch window for its upcoming mission, called the ‘Four of a Kind’ mission. This mission is set to deploy four advanced Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites, which are the result of a collaboration between Spire Global and their customer NorthStar Earth and Space. The launch is scheduled to take place from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand between January 18 and January 19.

These satellites represent a significant advancement in SSA technology as they will be able to monitor all near-Earth orbits simultaneously. This comprehensive monitoring will provide essential information for the global satellite community, including space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.

© Rocket Lab

In addition to the SSA satellites, Rocket Lab’s CEO, Peter Beck, highlighted the importance of this mission for the progress towards the reusability of their Electron rocket. The mission includes a secondary objective of retrieving Electron’s first stage after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean. This retrieval and analysis process is a critical step towards achieving rocket reusability.

The collaboration between Rocket Lab and Spire Global is also significant. Peter Platzer, co-founder and CEO of Spire Global, emphasized the meticulous collaboration that has shaped this mission. The joint efforts between the two companies have allowed for a dedicated launch tailored precisely to NorthStar’s mission requirements.

This mission not only represents a technological milestone but also reflects the enduring partnership between Rocket Lab and Spire Global. The partnership began with Rocket Lab’s first orbital mission in 2018, and now they are working together again to push boundaries and develop new technology and capabilities.

The ‘Four of a Kind’ mission will be Rocket Lab’s first launch in a fully booked launch manifest for 2024. It marks the company’s 43rd Electron mission and demonstrates their commitment to enhancing space safety and technology. The collaboration between Rocket Lab and Spire Global sets a new standard in the space industry, combining technological innovation with strategic partnerships to address the challenges in space situational awareness and access.

Overall, this mission represents a significant step forward in SSA technology and showcases the ongoing collaboration and innovation within the space industry.