Thursday, September 16, 2021

Monolith satellite on the launch pad – The Gisborne Herald

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The dedicated mission is scheduled for lift-off from Mahia at 6pm this evening and will see Electron deploy an Air Force Research Laboratory-sponsored demonstration satellite called Monolith. A Rocket Lab statement said the satellite would explore and demonstrate the use of a deployable sensor, analysis from which aims to enable the use of smaller satellite buses when building future deployable sensors such as weather satellites.

“The satellite will also provide a platform to test future space protection capabilities.” “We’re excited to have another Electron on the pad for the Space Test Program,” Rocket Lab chief executive and founder Peter Beck said.

The mission was procured by the Department of Defence’s Space Test Programme and the Rocket Systems Launch Programme, both part of the USSF’s Space and Missile Systems Centre at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. “We’re proud to once again demonstrate the flexible and resilient space access required by our government partners. The Space Test Programme has a long history of developing advanced space and launch capabilities that we’ve all come to rely on, from global positioning systems, satellite communications, meteorological satellites, and space domain awareness capabilities.”

“It’s a Little Chile Up Here” will be Rocket Lab’s fourth launch for the year and the company’s 21st Electron launch overall. The mission is being managed by the Launch Enterprise’s Small Launch and Targets Division, which is part of the USSF’s launch organisation of choice. The mission has been named “It’s a Little Chile Up Here” in a nod to the beloved green chile of New Mexico where the Space Test Programme is based.

PRIMED: Rocket Lab’s latest Mahia mission during a recent dress rehearsal for launch. Picture supplied

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