Rocket Lab will launch a U.S. spy satellite in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (Aug. 2), and you could watch the action live.
An Electron booster is scheduled to launch a payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from Rocket Lab’s New Zealand site on Tuesday throughout a two-hour window that opens at 1 a.m. EDT (0500 GMT; 5 p.m. local amount of time in New Zealand).
Watch it live at Space.com, thanks to Rocket Lab, or directly via the business (opens in new tab).
Tuesday morning’s mission, which Rocket Lab calls “Antipodean Adventure,” will loft NROL-199, a national security satellite that is clearly a joint effort of the NRO and the Australian Department of Defence (AUS DoD).
“The payload will support the NRO to supply critical information to government agencies and decision makers monitoring international issues,” Rocket Lab wrote in a mission description (opens in new tab).
NROL-199 would be the second of two NRO-AUS DoD missions to launch on an Electron in relatively short order. Rocket Lab also launched the NROL-162 satellite from New Zealand on July 13.
“Antipodean Adventure” would be the 29th launch overall for the 58-foot-tall (19 meters) Electron. The booster was made to give small satellites dedicated rides to Earth orbit, but Rocket Lab is expanding its exploration profile. An Electron recently launched NASA’s CAPSTONE probe to the moon, for instance, and the business aims to send a number of life-hunting missions to Venus in the coming years.
Rocket Lab can be attempting to make Electron’s first stage reusable and recovered boosters from several recent flights for inspection and analysis. The business even (briefly) snagged a falling Electron first stage with a helicopter on, may 2, throughout a mission called “There and AGAIN.”
There will not be any recovery activities (opens in new tab) on “Antipodean Adventure,” however; the Electron’s first stage will plummet in to the ocean soon after liftoff.
Mike Wall may be the writer of “ON THE MARKET (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book concerning the seek out alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).
Michael Wall is really a Senior Space Writer withSpace.com (opens in new tab)and joined the team in 2010.He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been recognized to dabble in the area art beat.His book concerning the seek out alien life, “ON THE MARKET,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before learning to be a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He’s got a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To discover what his latest project is, it is possible to follow Michael on Twitter.