The RL-9 mission, called “There and Back Again,” is scheduled to launch from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. Following this launch, Spaceflight will have successfully launched 448 spacecraft across 50 missions across a global network of launch vehicles.
Spaceflight has already had a busy year with notable wins, having launched 32 payloads across five missions, including its first launch with Astra in March. Earlier this year, NASA selected Spaceflight to provide launch services for the agency’s Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) missions.
The company also signed a multi-launch agreement with long-time IoT constellation customer Astrocast to provide ongoing launch services. In addition, Spaceflight has been recognized with numerous awards, including the company’s break-through Sherpa orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) that has been recognized as a finalist in GeekWire Awards’ Innovation of the Year Award .
Additionally, Spaceflight will lean on the learnings from its successful launches of Sherpa in 2021 to launch OTVs on a number of upcoming SpaceX missions this year. Spaceflight successfully launched three Sherpa OTVs last year, deploying more than 50 customer spacecraft and launching the industry’s first electric OTV.
In 2022, Spaceflight plans to execute 15 missions and debut the next two variations in its Sherpa OTV program – Sherpa-AC, which augments the base Sherpa model with key capabilities, including a flight computer, attitude knowledge and control plus an electrical power system, and Sherpa-ES, which will launch aboard the much-anticipated, lunar slingshot mission, GEO Pathfinder.
“Our 50th launch represents our persistent innovation and commitment to our customers’ success over the last decade,” said Curt Blake, CEO and president of Spaceflight. “Throughout the years, we’ve continued to provide reliable and flexible launch and in-space transportation services, pioneering rideshare solutions and expanding mission opportunities to our customers. 2022 is set to be a monumental year for Spaceflight and we are thrilled to execute more groundbreaking missions on behalf of our customers.”