Rocket Lab Introduces New Suborbital Option for Hypersonic Defense Missions

Rocket Lab’s suborbital services are a tantalizing option for thrill seekers and entrepreneurs alike. With flights planned for sometime in the first half of this year, this offering is sure to excite those eager to experience spaceflight without making the costly and time-consuming commitment to a full orbital mission. For businesses or governments needing reliable, but secret access to space, Rocket Lab’s hypersonic suborbital launches can be an attractive option.

RocketLab’s first suborbital vehicle, called “HASTE”, is set to launch in early 2019. The company is derived from their successful Electron orbital launch vehicle, but focuses on faster and lower-altitude launches using advanced propulsion technology.

Rocket Lab’s hypersonic capability is a major unlock for a key government and defense customer segment. Dynetics already has partnered with Rocket Lab to offer hypersonic test launch services, while the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) has chosen Rocket Lab to develop similar capabilities. A third contract from the Missile Defense Agency Target and Countermeasures will also see a number of different payloads tested aboard HASTE. Mostly, Rocket Lab says HASTE missions will fall under the purview of its National Security subsidiary

The launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket could mark a new era in space exploration. Thanks to its low cost and simplicity, this new launch vehicle could become the go-to option for small satellite launches and payloads required for advanced science and technology projects. With this shift,Rocket Lab may not only become a successful company, but also help open up space exploration to a much wider audience.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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