Watch the Launch

Additional Media

Live Stream

A live webcast of the launch will begin on this page approximately 20 minutes prior to the target T-0 time.

Birds Of A Feather Launch - 01/31/2020

Lift-off of the Birds Of A Feather mission occurred at 02:56 UTC on January 31 2020 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula.

Birds of a Feather

Rocket Lab's 11th Electron flight - Birds of a Feather - will launch a dedicated mission for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). The launch window is scheduled to open on 31 January NZDT and the mission will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1.

NROL-151 (Birds of a Feather)

Circle Image

Overview

Destination: Low Earth Orbit
Mission: Government/Top Secret

Low Earth Orbit Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1A 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.

Electron

Family:
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. It is also used as a suborbital testbed (called HASTE) for hypersonics research.

See Details
Specifications
  • Minimum Stage
    2
  • Max Stage
    3
  • Length
    18.0 m
  • Diameter
    1.2 m
  • Fairing Diameter
    1.2 m
  • Launch Mass
    13 T
  • Thrust
    162 kN
Family
  • Name
    Electron
  • Family
  • Variant
  • Alias
  • Full Name
    Electron
Payload Capacity
  • Launch Cost
    $6000000
  • Low Earth Orbit
    300 kg
  • Geostationary Transfer Orbit
  • Direct Geostationary
  • Sun-Synchronous Capacity
    225 kg

Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab

(RL)

CEO: Peter Beck Founded: 2006 Successes: 45 Failures: 4 Pending: 35

Agency Type:

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. The company is also producing a variety of spacecrafts and spacecrafts components.

INFO WIKI

Related News

Spaceflight Now

Rocket Lab successfully launches NRO satellite

NASA Spaceflight

Rocket Lab begins 2020 launch campaign with dedicated NRO mission

SpaceNews

Rocket Lab kicks off busy year with NRO launch

SpaceNews

Rocket Lab to launch small satellite for the National Reconnaissance Office

NASA Spaceflight

Rocket Lab announces NRO mission as agency diversifies launch providers

Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1A


SpaceShipTwo
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Galactic 07
Spaceport America - Air launch to Suborbital flight

Seventh commercial Virgin Galactic mission.


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Starlink Group 8-8
Space Launch Complex 4E - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

A batch of satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 3 days ago
Starlink Group 10-1
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of 22 satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Starship
Success
1 week, 5 days ago
Integrated Flight Test 4
Orbital Launch Mount A - SpaceX Starbase, TX, USA

Fourth test flight of the two-stage Starship launch vehicle.


Ceres-1
Success
1 week, 5 days ago
3 satellites
Launch Area 95A - Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Carried 3 satellites to polar orbit, details TBD: * TEE-01B *Naxing-3A/B


Atlas V N22
Success
1 week, 6 days ago
CST-100 Starliner Crewed Flight Test
Space Launch Complex 41 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

This is the first crewed test flight of Starliner spacecraft. It will carry NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Suni Williams to the International Spa…


Electron
Success
1 week, 6 days ago
PREFIRE And Ice (PREFIRE 2)
Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1B - Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand

Second 6U Cubesat carrying a miniaturized IR spectrometer, covering 0- 45 μm at 0.84 μm spectral resolution, operating for one seasonal cycle for NAS…


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 6 days ago
Starlink Group 8-5
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of 20 satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Falcon 9
Success
2 weeks, 3 days ago
Starlink Group 6-64
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

A batch of satellites for the Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Ceres-1
Success
2 weeks, 4 days ago
5 satellites
Launch Area 95A - Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Carried 5 satellites to orbit: * Jiguang 01 & 02, a pair of inter-satellite laser communication testing satellites * Yunyao-1-14/25/26 GNSS occul…