Update Dec. 18, 2022 — The launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is now scheduled for no earlier than Monday, Dec. 19. A launch attempt on Dec. 18 was scrubbed due to upper level winds exceeding limits for launch. 

Update Dec. 15, 2022 — The launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is now scheduled for no earlier than Sunday, Dec. 18. Wallops continues to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on final safety documentation for launch. 

Update Dec. 13, 2022 — Due to poor weather conditions in the Wallops area, Rocket Lab’s first U.S. launch of the Electron rocket is now targeted for no earlier than Friday, Dec. 16. Wallops also continues to work with the FAA on final documentation for launch. 

Update Dec. 11, 2022 — Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is scheduled no earlier than Thursday, Dec. 15, due to range/airspace availability. NASA continues to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to schedule the airspace and provide the required safety documentation before supporting the launch.

This is the first Electron launch from Wallops and the first-ever use of the jointly-developed Pegasus automated flight termination system for U.S. Electron launches derived from NASA’s Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU). The FAA has approved both NAFTU and Pegasus to support this flight. The NASA Wallops Range Safety team has verified that Rocket Lab has met all NASA launch range safety criteria to move forward with launch operations.

These circular areas show where and when people may see Rocket Lab’s Electron launch in the sky, depending on cloud cover. Credit: NASA Wallops/Mission Planning Lab

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility will support the launch of Rocket Lab USA’s first Electron rocket from Virginia at 6 p.m. EST, Friday, Dec. 9.

The “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” mission will deploy radio frequency monitoring satellites for HawkEye 360. The 59-foot-tall Electron rocket will lift off from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

The launch window for the mission is 6-8 p.m. The backup launch days are Dec. 10 to 20.

With this mission, NASA is helping foster a growing low-Earth space economy and continues Wallops’ 35-year support to the commercial launch industry.

Weather permitting, the launch may be visible to residents throughout much of the east coast of the United States.

Viewing locations on Chincoteague Island include Robert Reed Park on Main Street or Beach Road, spanning the area between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. The Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Atlantic beaches also provide good viewing locations. The NASA Visitor Center at Wallops will be open for this launch. 

A live launch webcast will be available at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream beginning about 40 minutes before the launch.

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