London, 14 September 2023.- Rocket Lab, an aerospace manufacturer and launch service provider, announced on the 12th of September that it has signed a contract with Leidos to launch four HASTE (Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron) missions, reports Business Wire. The four new missions follow on from the success of Rocket Lab’s first HASTE launch for Leidos in June this year.
The missions are scheduled across 2024 and 2025. They will lift off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 at Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility. Rocket Lab was selected by Leidos to provide hypersonic test launch capabilities with HASTE under the MACH-TB project. The project was awarded by Naval Surface Warfare Centre (NSWC) Crane through the Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) Other Transaction Authority (OTA) vehicle on behalf of the US Department of Defence Test Resource Management Centre (TRMC).
“Our first HASTE mission in June this year successfully demonstrated HASTE’s ability to accelerate the cadence of hypersonic flight testing for the nation,” said Brian Rogers, Senior Director, Global Launch Services. “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 suborbital launch vehicle is derived from the Company’s Electron rocket but has been modified to support hypersonic payload deployment. HASTE leverages the heritage of Rocket Lab’s low-cost Electron small launch vehicle.
HASTE is operated under Rocket Lab National Security (RLNS), the Company’s wholly owned subsidiary created to serve the needs of the US defence and intelligence community and its allies.