Rocket Lab signs missile deal with KAIST

NeonSat-1 is a high-resolution optical satellite that will be used as a technical demonstration for the planned future EO constellation.

Photo credit: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab It has signed a missile service contract with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to deploy an Earth observation satellite. Named NeonSat-1, the satellite is part of KAIST’s NeonSat microsatellite constellation program and is scheduled for a rideshare mission in the first half of 2024.

NianSat-1 will take center stage as the primary payload in an electron rideshare mission, sharing space with NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) satellite. The mission will take off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand

Commenting on the deal, Rocket Labs Founder and CEO Peter Beck said, “2024 is shaping up to be our busiest launch year with a fully booked manifest of Electron missions. Coupling this mission with the launch of NASA’s ACS3 spacecraft allowed KAIST to launch at short notice to help it reach orbit quickly. It is a privilege to work with the KAIST team and we are delighted to provide them with timely and affordable publishing services at Electron.

Jae-Hung Han, Director General of the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at KAIST added: „We are very much looking forward to collaborating with Rocket Lab to successfully launch our first satellite of the NeonSat microsatellite constellation program.”

NeonSat-1 is a state-of-the-art high-resolution optical satellite designed as a technical demonstration for KAIST’s planned Earth Observatory. Known as Korea’s leading science and technology institute, KAIST has a rich history, having built and operated Korea’s first satellite over 30 years ago.

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In a demonstration of Rocket Lab’s Vertically Integrated Space Systems strategy, NeonSat-1 will not only be launched by Electron, but will also use Rocket Lab’s MLB satellite separation system.

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