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UAE’s Circle Aerospace Gives Rocket Lab Ten Satellite Launches Deal

Rocket Lab’s Electron ‘Still Testing’ launch vehicle lifts off from its New Zealand launch pad on 21 January, 2018. Photograph courtesy of Rocket Lab.

Rocket Lab, the U.S.-headquartered New Space satellite launch company that puts small satellites into orbit from New Zealand, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Dubai-based Circle Aerospace for ten Electron SLV launches starting at the end of 2019.

Headquartered in Dubai, Circle Aerospace is a new turnkey launch brokerage and satellite development company that aims to spur the growth of a commercial space and small satellite industry across the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Circle Aerospace offers full-spectrum, bespoke orbital solutions, including the design, build, and launch of payloads for customers worldwide.

The agreement was signed during the 2018 Small Satellite conference held in Logan, Utah, from 6-9 August 2018, and makes Rocket Lab the sole launch provider and responsible for other associated mission services for Circle Aerospace clients. Circle Aerospace missions will primarily launch from Rocket Lab’s private orbital launch site, Launch Complex-1, in New Zealand. Launches may also be conducted from Rocket Lab’s U.S. launch site in Alaska as required.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Circle Aerospace to provide their small satellite customers with rapid, repeatable and reliable access to orbit. The space industry is experiencing significant growth globally and we welcome the opportunity to support Circle Aerospace in developing the industry in the UAE and GCC regions.”

Mr. Mohammed Al Saif, President and CEO of Circle Aerospace said, “We’re proud to partner with Rocket Lab to provide the region with frequent and dedicated access to orbit, as well as satellite build solutions. We’re in an exciting era for small satellites that will see significant developments in innovation, research, education and exploration in the very near future. Circle Aerospace is in a strong position to support the local market in achieving this.”

The payloads on these missions, as with all Electron missions launched from New Zealand, will be subject to a payload approval process with the New Zealand and U.S. governments.


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