It’s another launch campaign in New Zealand for our fearless integration team and mission managers, as they prepare RL-6, also known as #TheyGoUpSoFast by Rocket Lab, for launch.
All missions are special, but this one hits a few milestones for Rocket Lab and our customer BlackSky. This mission, which will launch BlackSky 7, the 7th satellite in the BlackSky constellation, will also launch Rocket Lab’s 100th satellite. While we can’t say for sure due to the deployment sequence that BlackSky’s Earth observation microsatellite will be the big 100, we’ll just say it could be!
As the mission management and integration services provider for BlackSky, we couldn’t be more excited to get their spacecraft on orbit. RL-6 is the first of a rapid succession of launches of the satellites in their growing constellation. BlackSky 7 was designed and manufactured by LeoStella, in their facility near Seattle, Washington.
As always, our team has become adept at navigating the complexities of travel during the COVID era, and spent much time testing and quarantining in order to safely get BlackSky 7 launch-ready. Besides that challenge, they also got to experience an earthquake and tsunami warning at the launch facility. Not to mention the many bovine traffic stoppers on the road to the launch facility every morning.
“We made it here through quarantine, earthquake, tsunami warnings and cows to launch our customer’s satellite,” says Lisa Middlebrook, Spaceflight mission manager. “It shows how far Spaceflight goes to get our customers into orbit.”
Encapsulation day is always a treat, as our team can finally head home. All the work was completed and BlackSky 7 is ready for launch.
Stay tuned for details on how to watch the launch of #RL6.