Rocket Lab Launches NROL-162 Payload into Orbit Written 13 July 2022


Rocket Lab's NROL-162 Launch. | Credit: The Launch Pad; YouTube; framegrab

SPACE reports that Rocket Lab has delivered “another spacecraft to orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), which operates the nation’s fleet of spy satellites.” The Rocket Lab Electron booster “topped with the NROL-162 spacecraft lifted off from the company’s New Zealand site on Wednesday (July 13) at 2:30 a.m. EDT (0630 GMT; 6:30 p.m. local time in New Zealand).” About an hour later, “the Electron’s ‘kick stage’ deployed NROL-162 into Earth orbit as planned, Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck confirmed via Twitter.” Rocket Lab wrote Wednesday that NROL-162 “will strengthen the NRO’s ability to provide a wide range of timely intelligence information to national decision makers and intelligence analysts to protect the United States’ vital interests and support humanitarian efforts worldwide.” NROL-162 is a “joint effort of the NRO and the Australian Department of Defence.”
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Rocket Lab's NROL-162 Launch, July 13, 2022
(The Launch Pad via YouTube)