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Rocket Lab preparing for A Data With Destiny

Rocket Lab’s Mahia launch operations will resume for two back-to-back launches next month.

The two-week launch window for Rocket Lab’s 22nd Electron launch — titled Love At First Insight — opens on Thursday, November 11.

The launch window for Rocket Lab’s 23rd launch — A Data With Destiny — opens on Saturday, November 27.

“These two dedicated missions are part of a bulk buy of launches signed between Rocket Lab and Spaceflight Inc for satellite imagery company BlackSky earlier this year and precede a third dedicated mission that will follow to deploy two additional BlackSky satellites,” a Rocket Lab statement said.

“These launches, along with a successfully deployed BlackSky satellite on Rocket Lab’s They Go Up So Fast rideshare mission in March this year, represent the largest number of satellites BlackSky has committed to a single launch provider to date.

“The exact date and timing of each mission’s targeted lift-off will be revealed closer to the opening of both launch windows.”

The back-to-back launch of these two dedicated missions supports BlackSky’s aggressive scaling of its high-resolution Earth-imaging constellation to bolster its delivery of analytics and insights to industries, including transportation, infrastructure, land use, defence, supply chain management and humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, Rocket Lab is preparing to carry out routine helicopter test flights in preparation for future recovery missions.

Two marine exclusion zones will be in placed at either side of the Mahia peninsula between October 18 and October 22 and again between October 25 and October 29 to allow Rocket Lab to carry out helicopter training.

“These helicopter test operations are scheduled to take place off the coast near Launch Complex 1 and do not involve any Electron rockets,” a company spokeswoman said.

“Much like our launches, the dates earmarked for operations allow us to work around any bad weather.

“Rocket Lab will not be operating all day, every day of the advertised test operations window. The maximum amount of time we expect to be running helicopter test flights is no more than two hours on a given day.”

Rocket Lab hopes to reuse its Electron rocket stage 1 engines by having them descend back to earth by parachute before being captured mid-air by a helicopter using a specially-designed grappling hook.