Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB)’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.

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

Real-time mission updates can be found on Rocket Lab’s Twitter @rocketlab and Facebook @rocketlabusa, and on its website

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+ About Rocket Lab

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. We deliver reliable launch services, satellite manufacture, spacecraft components, and on-orbit management solutions that make it faster, easier and more affordable to access space. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron small orbital launch vehicle and the Photon satellite platform and is developing the Neutron 8-ton payload class launch vehicle. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 147 satellites to space for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft platform has been selected to support NASA missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private commercial mission to Venus. Rocket Lab has three launch pads at two launch sites, including two launch pads at a private orbital launch site located in New Zealand and a second launch site in Virginia, USA which is expected to become operational in 2022. To learn more, visit


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Murielle Baker