Future Trends

Defense Innovation Union Taps Rocket Lab for New DOD Space Test  Mission

New launch contract

Defense Innovation Union Taps Rocket Lab for New DOD Space Test Mission

The Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit has tapped Rocket Lab, a Long Beach, California-based launch services and space systems provider, for a  Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron mission. 

According to a Rocket Lab press release issued on Wednesday, the Australian company Hypersonix Launch Systems will deploy the suborbital payload DART AE for the HASTE mission designed to support DOD testing requirements. 

The mission, which is under the DIU’s Hypersonic and High-Cadence Airborne Testing Capabilities program, will showcase HASTE’s direct inject capability as the Hypersonix payload is deployed while still traversing Earth’s atmosphere, Rocket Lab said.

The mission will be launched as early as the first quarter of 2025 at Rocket Lab’s reserved launch area at the Virginia Spaceport Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

The new DIU launch task is the seventh suborbital launch contract awarded to Rocket Lab’s HASTE in 2023. The other launches the company undertook include a mission for Leidos in June under the Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonic Test Bed program, with four more launches calendared in 2024 and 2025.

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Category: Future Trends