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Rocket Lab Sets Launch Date for 50th Electron Mission

The mission will deploy five IoT satellites for French company Kinéis.

Rocket Lab's 50th Electron rocket in preparation for lift-off at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on June 19.
Rocket Lab's 50th Electron rocket in preparation for lift-off at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on June 19.
Business Wire

Rocket Lab USA, Inc., a launch services and space systems, announced the launch window for the Company’s 50th Electron launch. The mission will deploy five Internet-of-Things (IoT) satellites for French company Kinéis.

The ‘No Time Toulouse’ mission is scheduled to launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand during a 14-day launch window that opens on June 19, 2024, NZST.

The mission is the first of five dedicated Electron launches for Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the French government’s space agency CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) an international space-based solutions provider, to improve global IoT connectivity.

Kinéis’ new constellation will connect any object anywhere in the world and guarantee the transmission of targeted and useful data to users, in near-real time, with low energy consumption with more powerful 30 kilogram-class nanosats that integrate IoT technology.

The constellation also includes a second mission: a ship-tracking Automatic Identification System (AIS). Once deployed, these technologies will allow Kinéis to expand across multiple industries and scale from 20,000 devices connected to millions.

The ‘No Time Toulouse’ launch has been tailored specifically to meet Kinéis’ mission requirements, giving them greater control over launch schedule, orbit and deployment parameters than would be possible on a larger rideshare mission. Tailored mission parameters for this launch include:

  • Instantaneous launch window,
  • After the first Curie engine burn to circularize the Kick Stage’s orbit, Curie will ignite again for an eight second burn to set a specific argument of perigee, enabling Kinéis to deploy five satellites to a precise location for each one of the five launches,
  • All five satellites will be deployed in a precise sequence in singles and as pairs to build out the constellation exactly as Kinéis needs it,
  • Finally, Curie will conduct a perigee lowering burn to reduce the Kick Stage’s orbital lifetime to keep space sustainable.

Electron’s 50th launch by the numbers

The ‘No Time Toulouse’ mission will mark:

  • 50th Electron launch since the Company’s first launch on May 25th, 2017.
  • 499 Rutherford engines sent to space. Each Electron launch features 10 Rutherford engines, including nine on the first stage and a single vacuum optimized Rutherford engine on the second stage. Rocket Lab successfully flew a recovered Rutherford engine in 2023, hence 499 engines rather than 500.
  • 46 missions from Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand.
  • 4 missions from Launch Complex 2 in Virginia, USA.
  • 190 satellites launched by Electron.
  • Eighth Electron mission of 2024.

The launch will broadcast live at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream

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