RL-11 to Launch More BlackSky Earth- Imaging Satellites

Rocket Lab announced the launch window for our next dedicated mission (RL-11) for BlackSky — it opens April 1, 2022 UTC.

Scheduled to launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 Pad A, the Rocket Lab “Without Mission A Beat” will carry two more BlackSky rapid-revisit, high-resolution Earth-imaging satellites to low Earth orbit (430km circular), and will expand BlackSky’s constellation to 14 satellites. This mission is Spaceflight’s 11th launch on the Electron and the third for the company this year.

Spaceflight arranged the launch and provided mission management and integration services for BlackSky. “This mission, like several others in the past two years, occurred during the global pandemic. The teams from Spaceflight, BlackSky, LeoStella, and Rocket Lab worked diligently for months under challenging conditions which makes it even more satisfying and rewarding to see the mission ready for lift off,” said Lisa Middlebrook, Spaceflight’s Mission Manager.

We didn’t let the pandemic stand in our way, but the sheep on the way to the integration facility gave us a run for our money. (Photo credit: W. Lang, Spaceflight)

Spaceflight has enjoyed a long relationship with the provider of real-time geospatial intelligence, managing many dedicated and rideshare missions for BlackSky. These include ISRO’s PSLV-C43 mission and Spaceflight’s SSO-A dedicated Falcon 9 rideshare mission both in 2018, Rocket Lab’s “Make It Rain” (RL-1) and “Look Ma, No Hands” (RL-4) missions in 2019, and a SpaceX Starlink mission (SXRS-2), Rocket Lab’s “They Go Up So Fast” (RL-6), “Love at First Insight” (RL-8) and “A Data With Destiny” (RL-10) missions — all in 2021.

Middlebrook (bottom left in the picture above) added, “Constellation builders like BlackSky require frequent and reliable launches. Spaceflight provides a combination of both rideshare and dedicated launches across a wide range of launch vehicles, delivering the most timely and cost-effective launch to meet their needs. Working closely with BlackSky and Rocket Lab, it has been a pleasure to carry out these missions and we look forward to many more.”

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