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Rocket Lab Launches KAIST, NASA Satellites on Electron Mission

Satellite deployment

Rocket Lab Launches KAIST, NASA Satellites on Electron Mission

Rocket Lab USA’s Electron rocket has deployed two satellites to distinct orbits on its 47th mission.

The mission, which marks Rocket Lab’s fifth launch of 2024, launched from New Zealand on Wednesday, carrying payloads for the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and NASA, Rocket Lab said.

The primary satellite, KAIST’s NEONSAT-1, is an Earth-observation satellite that will image the Korean Peninsula to aid in monitoring natural disasters. It is the first of a planned 11-satellite constellation designed to capture high-resolution images of the region multiple times a day.

The second deployed satellite, NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, carries technology to demonstrate the use of sunlight for spacecraft propulsion. The data will inform the design of future, larger-scale solar sail systems for various applications, including space weather monitoring, asteroid exploration and missions to study the sun’s polar regions.

Electron’s Kick Stage, a small stage with engine re-ignition capabilities, facilitated the deployment of the satellites to orbits 500 kilometers apart.

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Category: Space