NROL-151 (Birds of a Feather)

Overview

Destination: Low Earth Orbit
Mission: Government/Top Secret

Low Earth Orbit Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

This is a dedicated launch for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The contract was awarded under Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) program.


SpaceNews

Rocket Lab to launch small satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office

Named “Birds of a Feather,” the mission is scheduled to lift off Jan. 31 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.

NASA Spaceflight

Rocket Lab announces NRO mission as agency diversifies launch providers

Rocket Lab has announced its first mission of 2020 – a dedicated launch for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). Their workhorse Electron rocket, launching from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, will loft the classified NROL-151 sate...

SpaceNews

Rocket Lab kicks off busy year with NRO launch

Rocket Lab successfully launched a classified payload for the NRO Jan. 30 in the first of up to a dozen launches planned by the company this year.

Spaceflight Now

Rocket Lab successfully launches NRO satellite

If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member . If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further. A...

NASA Spaceflight

Rocket Lab begins 2020 launch campaign with dedicated NRO mission

After successfully launching 6 missions and over 20 payloads to orbit in 2019, Rocket Lab is preparing to conduct its first launch of 2020 using their Electron rocket. The mission will lift off from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand...

Launch Infographic

Geoff Barrett is an independent graphic artist that creates launch infographics for space flight events.

Electron

Family: Electron
Configuration:

Electron is a two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle (with an optional third stage) developed by the American aerospace company Rocket Lab. Electron is a small-lift launch vehicle designed to launch small satellites and cubesats to sun-synchronous orbit and low earth orbit. The Electron is the first orbital class rocket to use electric-pump-fed engines, powered by the 9 Rutherford engines on the first stage.

See Electron Details
Specifications
  • Minimum Stage
    2
  • Max Stage
    3
  • Length
    17.0 m
  • Diameter
    1.2 m
  • Fairing Diameter
  • Launch Mass
    12 T
  • Thrust
    162 kN
Family
  • Name
    Electron
  • Family
    Electron
  • Variant
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Electron
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $6,000,000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    225 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity
    225 kg

Rocket Lab Ltd

Circle Image
CEO: Peter Beck Founded: 2006 Successes: 10 Failures: 1 Pending: 5

Agency Type: Commercial

Rocket Lab is an American aerospace manufacturer with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary. The company develops lightweight, cost-effective commercial rocket launch services. The Electron Program was founded on the premise that small payloads such as CubeSats require dedicated small launch vehicles and flexibility not currently offered by traditional rocket systems. Its rocket, the Electron, is a light-weight rocket and is now operating commercially. Electron currently launches from only Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand however they are currently looking into developing a facility in the US.

INFO WIKI

Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Pad: Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1


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NROL-151 (Birds of a Feather)
Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 - Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

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