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.

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
    18.0 m
  • Diameter
    1.2 m
  • Fairing Diameter
    1.2 m
  • Launch Mass
    13 T
  • Thrust
    162 kN
Family
  • Name
    Electron
  • Family
    Electron
  • 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 Ltd

Circle Image
CEO: Peter Beck Founded: 2006 Successes: 23 Failures: 3 Pending: 13

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

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


Falcon 9
Success
16 hours, 49 minutes ago
Transporter 5 (Dedicated SSO Rideshare)
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

Transporter 5 mission is a dedicated rideshare flight to a sun-synchronous orbit with 59 cubeSats, microsats, non-deploying hosted payloads, and orbi…


Long March 2C/YZ-1S
Success
6 days ago
RSW-04 - 06
Launch Area 4 (SLS-2 / 603) - Jiuquan, People's Republic of China

"Ronghe Shiyan Weixing" (RSW) = "Integrated Experimental Satellite" are test satellites that will be used to develop a state-owned Chinese low-earth …


Atlas V N22
Success
6 days, 12 hours ago
CST-100 Starliner Orbital Flight Test 2 (OFT-2)
Space Launch Complex 41 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

This is the second uncrewed test flight for the Starliner spacecraft. Reflight of the OFT mission will allow Boeing to demonstrate readiness of the s…


Soyuz 2.1a
Success
1 week ago
Kosmos 2556 (Bars-M No. 3)
43/4 (43R) - Plesetsk Cosmodrome, Russian Federation

Bars-M is the second incarnation of the Bars project, which was started in the mid 1990ies to develop a successor for the Komtea class of area survei…


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 1 day ago
Starlink Group 4-18
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 53 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 4 days ago
Starlink Group 4-15
Space Launch Complex 40 - Cape Canaveral, FL, USA

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


Falcon 9
Success
1 week, 5 days ago
Starlink Group 4-13
Space Launch Complex 4E - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

A batch of 53 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.


Hyperbola-1
Failure
1 week, 6 days ago
Jilin-1 Mofang-01A(R)
Unknown Pad - Jiuquan, People's Republic of China

New generation experimental Earth imaging satellite for the Jilin-1 constellation. NOTE: Payload identity unconfirmed.


Long March 7
Success
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Tianzhou-4
Wenchang - Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, People's Republic of China

Third cargo delivery mission to the Chinese large modular space station.


Falcon 9
Success
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Starlink Group 4-17
Launch Complex 39A - Kennedy Space Center, FL, USA

A batch of 53 satellites for Starlink mega-constellation - SpaceX's project for space-based Internet communication system.