Rocket Lab to launch satellite pair on Electron for BlackSky from New Zealand


USA said that it will launch a satellite pair on a dedicated Electron mission for BlackSky under ‘The Beat Goes On’ mission via launch services provider Spaceflight, during a launch window opening on 22 March 2023.

The Beat Goes On mission will launch a couple of BlackSky’s Gen-2 earth-imaging satellites off Pad B at Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, and will increase the number of satellites that are delivered through Electron into orbit to 159.

The Electron reusable orbital-class small rocket will carry the satellites into a circular orbit of 450km, that will increase the number of satellites in the BlackSky constellation to 16.

In a second mission, plans to retrieve Electron’s initial stage once it returns to Earth and splashes in the ocean. Recovery team members from Rocket Lab are expected to recover the Electron rocket by using a custom-built vessel, and then transport it back to the production facility to analyze.

Rocket Lab to launch satellite pair on Electron for BlackSky from New Zealand

to launch satellite pair on Electron for BlackSky from New Zealand. Photo courtesy of ROCKET LAB USA.

The information gathered from the recovery stage will help Rocket Lab’s ongoing reuse and recovery program.

The high-resolution pair of multi-spectral Gen-2 satellites, which are scheduled to launch on Electron will extend BlackSky’s reach in space and its offering of geospatial intelligence and monitoring services in real-time.

BlackSky is said to use high-resolution photos taken by its microsatellites and its own artificial intelligence software to provide data and analysis to various industries such as infrastructure, transportation, defense, land use, supply chain management, and humanitarian assistance.

Peter Beck — founder and Chief Executive said: “We’re proud to continue playing a key role in building out BlackSky’s growing constellation. We’ve now delivered 9 satellites to orbit for BlackSky since our first launch for them in 2019 and we’re grateful to have been entrusted with their mission once again.

“Counting down to another mission just six days after a successful launch from LC-2 in is no mean feat and testament to our team’s experience and dedication to delivering response launch.”

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