Four Of A Kind mission will help monitor near-Earth objects from space
Rocket Lab USA successfully launched its first Electron mission in 2024, dedicated to solving the problem of space debris. As part of the mission «Four» (Four Of A Kind) for Spire Global and NorthStar Earth & Space, an Electron rocket delivered four Space Awareness Satellites (SSA) into circular Earth orbit.
These satellites will serve to track and monitor near-Earth objects, providing information about their orbit, preventing collisions and assisting in navigation.
This mission was the 43rd launch of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket and set a new record for the most satellites successfully launched, which now stands at 176. The launch kicks off a busy year for Rocket Lab, which has plans to launch more satellites than ever before.
The mission achieved the successful return of the first stage of the Electron rocket as part of Rocket Lab's plan to create a reusable rocket. After launch and separation of the stage, it returned to Earth by parachute and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean 17 minutes later. The stage is currently undergoing recovery operations to allow it to be tested and analyzed before reuse on future missions.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck, notes that the success of this mission and plans for the year make it the company's busiest yet. With more missions planned in 2024 than ever before, Rocket Lab plans to continue to provide reliable launches for customers on challenging missions.
Mission «Four» is one of the planned missions in Rocket Lab's 2024 manifesto. This includes launches such as missions for NASA, hypersonic technology testing, block launches for satellite operators, and other commercial and defense missions.