Rocket Lab’s new HASTE launch vehicle, derived from the Electron rocket, will provide high-cadence suborbital flight test opportunities to advance hypersonic system technology development
Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today formally introduced the HASTE rocket (Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron), a suborbital testbed launch vehicle derived from Rocket Lab’s heritage Electron rocket. HASTE provides reliable, high-cadence flight test opportunities needed to advance hypersonic system technology development, with the inaugural launch scheduled to take place in the first half of 2023 for a confidential customer.
This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230417005343/en/
Rocket Lab's HASTE rocket for suborbital missions is derived from the Electron launch vehicle, seen here launching from NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia in March 2023. Image credit: Brady Kenniston
“Rocket Lab has a strong track record of delivering tailored and reliable space capabilities for the civil space and national security communities across launch and space systems and HASTE is an extension of this,” says Brian Rogers, Senior Director – Global Launch Services. “Hypersonic and suborbital test capabilities are key priorities for the nation, yet the DoD’s ability to test these systems has been limited. With HASTE, we’ve taken a proven vehicle in Electron and tailored it specifically to deliver highly capable, frequent, and cost-effective hypersonic and suborbital test opportunities from our existing launch site in Virginia. Importantly, HASTE is not the promise of a future capability – it’s a completed launch vehicle ready for flight now, with the first one currently preparing for launch at our Integration and Control Facility in Wallops, Virginia, in the coming months.”
HASTE is evolved from Rocket Lab’s flagship Electron launch vehicle, which has been providing reliable access to orbit since 2018 and has successfully deployed satellites for NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), the NRO (National Reconnaissance Office), DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) and the U.S. Space Force. HASTE employs the same innovative carbon composite structure and 3D printed Rutherford engines as Electron but has a modified Kick Stage for hypersonic payload deployment, a larger payload capacity of up to 700 kg / 1,540 lbs, and options for tailored fairings to accommodate larger payloads.
Rocket Lab has been selected by Dynetics to provide hypersonic test launch capability under the Multiservice Advanced Capability Test Bed (MACH-TB) project awarded by Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane division on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense. Separately, Rocket Lab has also been selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to prototype hypersonic launch capability on HASTE under the agency’s hypersonic and high-cadence testing capabilities (HyCAT) program, which aims to increase the cadence of hypersonic testing at a decreased cost of traditional flight tests. Under the initiative, Rocket Lab will explore the integration of scramjet-powered payloads, including the DART AE (Additive Engineering) vehicle developed by Australian company Hypersonix Launch Systems. This continues DIU and Rocket Lab’s partnership, which started under the Space Systems Command Rapid Agile Launch Initiative (SSC-RALI) effort in 2018, providing rapid and agile launch capabilities to the DoD. Due to the prototype’s success, any DoD organization can utilize DIU’s Solutions Catalog to procure launch services from Rocket Lab.
Rocket Lab was also selected by Missile Defense Agency Targets and Countermeasures (MDA/TC) to conduct a now-completed study to evaluate a variety of payloads on HASTE, setting the stage for future test flight opportunities. These program awards highlight the versatility of HASTE in providing tailorable trajectories and aerodynamic test regimes.
HASTE will be primarily operated under Rocket Lab National Security (RLNS), the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary created to serve the unique needs of the U.S. defense and intelligence community and its allies. Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is the launch site for HASTE.
+ 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 13-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 159 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, USA. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.
+ FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are based on Rocket Lab’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond Rocket Lab’s control), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic; risks related to government restrictions and lock-downs in New Zealand and other countries in which we operate that could delay or suspend our operations; delays and disruptions in expansion efforts; our dependence on a limited number of customers; the harsh and unpredictable environment of space in which our products operate which could adversely affect our launch vehicle and spacecraft; increased congestion from the proliferation of low Earth orbit constellations which could materially increase the risk of potential collision with space debris or another spacecraft and limit or impair our launch flexibility and/or access to our own orbital slots; increased competition in our industry due in part to rapid technological development and decreasing costs; technological change in our industry which we may not be able to keep up with or which may render our services uncompetitive; average selling price trends; failure of our launch vehicles, spacecraft and components to operate as intended either due to our error in design in production or through no fault of our own; launch schedule disruptions; supply chain disruptions, product delays or failures; design and engineering flaws; launch failures; natural disasters and epidemics or pandemics; changes in governmental regulations including with respect to trade and export restrictions, or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications; or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule launches, including customer contractual rescheduling and termination rights; risks that acquisitions may not be completed on the anticipated time frame or at all or do not achieve the anticipated benefits and results; and the other risks detailed from time to time in Rocket Lab’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in Rocket Lab’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, which was filed with the SEC on March 7, 2023, and elsewhere (including that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate the risks discussed therein). There can be no assurance that the future developments affecting Rocket Lab will be those that we have anticipated. Except as required by law, Rocket Lab is not undertaking any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
+ Rocket Lab Media Contact