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Rocket Lab Selected by Space Systems Command to Build and Launch Spacecraft for Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS) Mission

The $32 million contract will see Rocket Lab design and manufacture a spacecraft to conduct rendezvous proximity operations, before launching it on Electron with 24 hours’ notice for Space Systems Command’s VICTUS HAZE mission

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”) today announced that it has been selected for a $32M U.S. Space Force Space Systems Command (SSC) contract to deliver the VICTUS HAZE Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS) mission. The mission will see Rocket Lab design, build, launch, and operate a rendezvous proximity operation (RPO) capable spacecraft. The mission was contracted under Rocket Lab National Security, a wholly owned subsidiary that serves the U.S. and its allies with responsive and reliable launch services, spacecraft manufacturing, and space systems capabilities.

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Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle will be used to launch a Rocket Lab-built spacecraft for the Space Systems Command VICTUS HAZE mission. (Photo: Business Wire)

Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle will be used to launch a Rocket Lab-built spacecraft for the Space Systems Command VICTUS HAZE mission. (Photo: Business Wire)

SSC’s Space Safari’s VICTUS HAZE mission will be an exercise of a realistic threat-response scenario and on-orbit space domain awareness (SDA) demonstration. Rocket Lab and a second performer, True Anomaly, will both demonstrate the ability to build rendezvous and proximity operation (RPO) capable space vehicles and command and control centers. The mission is targeted for launch in 2025.

Once the spacecraft build is complete, Rocket Lab will be entered into a Hot Standby Phase awaiting further direction. Once the exercise begins, Rocket Lab will be given notice to launch the spacecraft into a target orbit. After reaching orbit, the spacecraft will be rapidly commissioned and readied for operations. Rocket Lab will configure a Pioneer class spacecraft bus to meet the unique requirements of the VICTUS HAZE mission and launch the spacecraft on Electron from either Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, NZ or Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, VA. Once on orbit, the spacecraft will conduct a variety of dynamic space operations to demonstrate SDA characterization capabilities with True Anomaly’s spacecraft, the Jackal autonomous orbital vehicle.

The mission will improve Tactically Responsive Space (TacRS) processes and timelines, demonstrating the ability to respond to on-orbit threats on very short timelines and validating techniques for space domain awareness (SDA) and on-orbit characterization. Rocket Lab’s constellation-class production capability and discriminating technical capabilities in the areas of in-space propulsion, precision attitude control, low latency communications, and autonomous operations are key enablers for this mission.

“It’s an honor to be selected by the Space Systems Command to partner in delivering the VICTUS HAZE mission and demonstrate the kind of advanced tactically responsive capabilities critical to evolving national security needs,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “VICTUS HAZE builds on Rocket Lab’s proven track record of delivering launch and spacecraft solutions that enable advanced missions on accelerated timelines. The ability to design, build, launch and operate a spacecraft within one streamlined team is rare and will deliver unparalleled speed and value to the nation. We’re excited to take TacRS to the next level.”

The VICTUS HAZE mission joins a growing list of U.S. Space Force programs supported by Rocket Lab, including the successful launch of the Space Test Program’s Monolith satellite on Electron in 2021; a newly-announced $14.49 million contract to launch the SSC’s STP-30 mission on Electron within 24 months; a $24.35 million contract with the SSC for the development of the Neutron launch vehicle’s upper stage; and a recent $515 million contract award from the Space Development Agency to design and build 18 Tranche 2 Transport Layer-Beta Data Transport Satellites (T2TL - Beta).

+ About Rocket Lab

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. We deliver reliable launch services, satellite manufacture, spacecraft components, and on-orbit management solutions that make it faster, easier, and more affordable to access space. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron small orbital launch vehicle, the Photon satellite platform, and the Company is developing the large Neutron launch vehicle for constellation deployment. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 180+ satellites to orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab’s Photon spacecraft platform has been selected to support NASA missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private commercial mission to Venus. Rocket Lab has three launch pads at two launch sites, including two launch pads at a private orbital launch site located in New Zealand and a third launch pad in Virginia. To learn more, visit

+ About Space Safari

The Space Safari Program Office, under Space Systems Command (SSC), a Field Command within the U.S. Space Force, was created in January 2021 to respond to high-priority, urgent space needs by rapidly acquiring, integrating, and executing missions in support of USSPACECOM requirements and other combatant commander urgent operational needs. Space Safari’s end-to-end missions include spacecraft bus and payload acquisition, launch, and on-orbit operations for a variety of mission needs.

+ Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements contained in this press release other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding our launch and space systems operations, launch schedule and window, safe and repeatable access to space, Neutron development, operational expansion and business strategy are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “potential,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, though not all forward-looking statements use these words or expressions. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the factors, risks and uncertainties included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at and the Investor Relations section of our website at, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change.


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