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

Rocket Lab will also attempt to recover Electron’s first stage from the mission in next step for reusability.

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it has set the launch window for its first mission of 2024.

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Four satellites for Spire and NorthStar are contained within the Electron rocket fairing ahead of launch at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1. (Photo: Business Wire)

Four satellites for Spire and NorthStar are contained within the Electron rocket fairing ahead of launch at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1. (Photo: Business Wire)

The ‘Four of a Kind’ mission is scheduled to launch no earlier than January 18 between 19:15-20:00 NZT (January 18 between 06:15-07:00 UTC) from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The mission will deploy four Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites for Spire Global, Inc’s (Spire) customer NorthStar Earth & Space (NorthStar). NorthStar´s satellites, built and operated by Spire, will be the first to simultaneously monitor all near-Earth orbits from space, delivering a radically enhanced level of SSA services to the global satellite community, with timely and precise information for space object detection, tracking, orbit determination, collision avoidance, navigation, and proximity alerts.

As a secondary mission, Rocket Lab will be attempting to splash down and retrieve Electron’s first stage as part of the Company’s plan to evolve Electron into a reusable rocket. After launch and stage separation, Electron’s first stage will return to Earth under a parachute and splash down in the Pacific Ocean several hundred kilometers down range from Launch Complex 1. Rocket Lab’s recovery vessel will extract the stage from the water for transportation back to Rocket Lab’s production complex where it will undergo detailed analysis. Rocket Lab is not launching any pre-flown engines as part of this mission.

“With each recovery mission we iterate toward Electron reusability and with recent launches we’ve made significant leaps forward with more successful splashdowns, recoveries and the first launch of a pre-flown Rutherford engine,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. “We’re looking forward to putting advanced heat-shielding and waterproofing systems to the test on this mission as one of the final steps before re-flying an entire first stage. To launch an advanced mission like this with Spire as a mission partner is a real privilege, as they were on our very first orbital mission in 2018. To be partnered up again and both still pushing boundaries with new technology and capabilities all these years later is a great full circle moment.”

Spire Global co-founder and CEO, Peter Platzer, says: “As we approach the launch of NorthStar's SSA satellites, this moment not only signifies a technological milestone but also underscores the meticulous collaboration that has shaped this mission. Through our joint efforts with Rocket Lab, we've been able to offer the flexibility of a dedicated launch tailored precisely to NorthStar's mission requirements. In tandem, Spire's Space Services team, working closely with Rocket Lab, has played a pivotal role in constructing and customizing all mission components, ensuring seamless alignment with NorthStar's unique needs. This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to removing barriers in space business and contributing to a more sustainable future in space.”

‘Four of a Kind’ will be Rocket Lab’s first launch as part of a sold-out launch manifest for 2024 and will be the Company’s 43rd Electron mission overall.

+ 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, the Photon satellite platform, and the Company is developing the large Neutron launch vehicle for constellation deployment. 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 172 satellites to orbit 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 third launch pad in Virginia. To learn more, visit

+ Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements contained in this press release other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding our launch and space systems operation, launch schedule and window, safe and repeatable access to space, Neutron development, operational expansion, business strategy, and expectations relating to our financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives and future performance are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “potential,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, though not all forward-looking statements use these words or expressions. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the factors, risks and uncertainties included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at and the Investor Relations section of our website at, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change.


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