Rocket Lab Awarded Contract to Launch Orbital Debris Removal Demonstration Mission for Astroscale | Your money



LONG BEACH, Calif .– (BUSINESS WIRE) – Sep 21, 2021–

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced that it has signed a dedicated launch contract with Astroscale Japan Inc. (“Astroscale Japan”), a subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), a market leader in satellite servicing and long-term orbital durability. Planned for takeoff from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in 2023, the Electron rocket will launch the Active Debris Removal by Astroscale-Japan (ADRAS-J) satellite, which has been selected by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for Phase I of its demonstration project. Commercial Debris Disposal (CRD2), one of the world’s first large-scale debris disposal technology demonstrations from orbit.

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Render of Astroscale’s ADRAS-J satellite, which will be launched by Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher. (Photo: Business Wire)

Once deployed into a precise orbit through Electron’s Kick stage, the ADRAS-J satellite is designed to encounter a piece of orbital debris, a long-abandoned upper stage rocket body. ADRAS-J aims to demonstrate proximity operations and obtain images of the rocket body, providing observational data to better understand the debris environment. A second planned phase of the mission, which has not yet been completed, aims to demonstrate the de-orbit of debris.

“The ability to actively remove satellites and debris from orbit at the end of their operational lifetimes will likely play a key role in ensuring a sustainable space environment for the future, so we are delighted to allow Astroscale to demonstrate new and innovative solutions in this field. domain, ”said Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab. “Meeting up with debris in orbit, moving at around 27,000 km / h, is a very complex task that requires absolute precision when it comes to orbital deployment. Electron’s Kick Stage demonstrated this precision over 18 missions, providing space transportation to place our customers’ satellites exactly where they need to go.

“Reliable and commercially viable launchers like Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket allow frequent and flexible access to space, allowing us to advance our in-orbit services that are critical to the growth of infrastructure and space economics, ”said Nobu Okada, founder and CEO of Astroscale. “Rocket Lab and Astroscale have become leaders in our respective markets and I am delighted to collaborate on ADRAS-J, a groundbreaking mission that will shape the technologies and policies needed to advance the sustainability of space. “

A visualization of the ADRAS-J mission can be viewed here:—X33krhHY

About Rocket Lab

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with a proven track record of mission success. We provide reliable launch services, spacecraft components, satellites, and other spacecraft and in-orbit management solutions that make accessing space faster, easier and more affordable. Based in Long Beach, Calif., Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the small Electron orbital launcher and Photon satellite platform and develops the 8 ton Neutron payload class launcher. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher has become the second most frequently launched US rocket each year and has placed 105 satellites into orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in the fields of national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation. , Earth observation, climate monitoring and communications. Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft platform was selected to support NASA’s missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private trade 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, one of which is currently operational, and a second launch site in Virginia, United States. United, which is expected to become operational by the end of 2021. For more information, visit

About Astroscale

Astroscale is the first private company whose vision is to ensure the safe and sustainable development of space for the benefit of future generations, and the only company entirely dedicated to in-orbit maintenance in all orbits. Founded in 2013, Astroscale develops innovative and scalable solutions across the spectrum of in-orbit maintenance missions, including life extension, in situ spatial situational awareness, end-of-life services and active debris removal, to create sustainable space systems and mitigate the growing and dangerous accumulation of debris in space. Astroscale also defines business cases and works with government and business stakeholders to develop standards, regulations and incentives for responsible use of space. Based in Japan, Astroscale has an international presence with subsidiaries in the UK, US, Israel and Singapore. Astroscale is a growing venture capital firm, working to advance safe and sustainable growth in space and solve a growing environmental problem. To learn more about Astroscale, visit

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 and Exchange Act of 1934. , as amended. These forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, expectations regarding the timing of scheduled launches, are based on Rocket Lab’s current expectations and beliefs regarding 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 differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. . There are many factors that could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, including risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, including risks related to government restrictions and lockdowns. New Zealand and other countries in which we operate which may delay or suspend our operations; delays and interruptions in expansion efforts; our dependence on a limited number of clients; the harsh and unpredictable space environment in which our products operate, which could adversely affect our launcher and spacecraft; increased congestion due to the proliferation of constellations in low Earth orbit which could greatly increase the risk of potential collision with space debris or other spacecraft and limit or impair our launch flexibility and / or our access to our own slots orbitals; increased competition in our industry due in part to rapid technological development and falling costs; technological changes in our industry that we may not be able to keep up with or that could make our services uncompetitive; evolution of average selling prices; the inability of our satellites to perform as expected, either due to our design error during production or through no fault of our own; interruptions in the launch schedule; supply chain disruptions, delays or product failures; design and engineering flaws; launch failures; natural disasters and epidemics or pandemics; changes in government regulations, including with respect to trade and export restrictions, or in the status of our regulatory approvals or requests; or other events that require us to cancel or reschedule launches, including customer contractual rescheduling and termination rights, and other risks detailed from time to time in materials filed by Rocket Lab with the Securities and Exchange Commission under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere (including that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate the risks discussed therein). There can be no assurance that future developments affecting Rocket Lab will be as we have anticipated. Except as required by law, Rocket Lab assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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CONTACT: Rocket Lab Media Contact

Morgan bailey

[email protected]

+64 27 538 9039



SOURCE: Rocket Lab USA, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 09/21/2021 4:30 PM / DISC: 9/21/2021 4:32 PM

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