U.S.-based company Rocket Lab has announced the selection of Wallops at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia as their first U.S. launch location to supplement capabilities from their New Zealand launch pad. The announcement comes roughly one month ahead of the company’s anticipated New Zealand launch of an Electron rocket named “It’s Business Time”, the first operational Electron flight for Rocket Lab after two test flights in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
Wallops chosen as Electron’s first U.S. launch site:
Rocket Lab has officially announced their selection of Wallops at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia to be the first U.S. launch site for their small satellite Electron launch vehicle.
The announcement comes after several months of selection, with Wallops chosen in part for its orbital inclination launch abilities compared to Rocket Lab’s already operational launch site on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) of New Zealand.
According to Rocket Lab CEO, Peter Beck, in a one-on-one interview with NASASpaceflight’s Chris Gebhardt at Rocket Lab’s headquarters, “We were looking for a number of things in the U.S. facility. Obviously, flight rate for us is a big deal, and Wallops was far quieter than some of the other pads ...