Rocket Lab Signs Deal with Leidos to Launch Four HASTE Missions
13 September 2023
Rocket Lab USA, Inc. a prominent global player in the field of launch services and space systems, has officially disclosed the signing of a contract with Leidos for the launch of four HASTE (Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron) missions.
Scheduled to occur between 2024 and 2025, these missions will commence from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 situated at Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, located within NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. Rocket Lab was chosen by Leidos to provide the necessary capabilities for hypersonic test launches using the HASTE platform under the MACH-TB project. The project was granted by the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane through the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) Other Transaction Authority (OTA) program, acting on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense Test Resource Management Center (TRMC).
Brian Rogers, Senior Director of Global Launch Services, remarked on this development, stating, "Our first HASTE mission in June this year successfully demonstrated HASTE’s ability to accelerate the cadence of hypersonic flight testing for the nation. We’re proud to now follow it up with a series of four additional missions for Leidos to support hypersonic technology innovation and technology maturation."
Rocket Lab's HASTE suborbital launch vehicle, derived from the well-established Electron rocket, has been specifically adapted to facilitate the deployment of hypersonic payloads. By capitalizing on the cost-effective foundation of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket, which holds the distinction of being the most frequently launched commercial small launch vehicle worldwide, HASTE presents a genuine commercial testing solution at a substantially reduced cost compared to full-scale tests currently in use.
Rocket Lab successfully executed the maiden HASTE mission on June 17, 2023, on behalf of Leidos as part of the Multi-Service Advanced Capability Hypersonic Test Bed (MACH-TB) program.
The HASTE program operates under Rocket Lab National Security (RLNS), a wholly owned subsidiary established by the Company to cater to the distinct requirements of the U.S. defense and intelligence community, as well as its allied partners.