Rocket Lab has received Category 1 certification from NASA for its Electron launch vehicle.
The certification was awarded after Rocket Lab’s Electron vehicle delivered 13 NASA CubeSats to orbit in December 2018 as part of the ELaNa-19 mission and following the completion of a review of the company’s rocket production processes and facilities in 2019, the company said Tuesday.
Peter Peck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, said the NASA certification reflects the company’s commitment to offering cost-effective and reliable launch services for small satellites.
“We have a strong partnership with NASA that was established through the ELaNa-19 launch and continues today with the upcoming CAPSTONE mission that will see our Electron launch vehicle and Photon spacecraft deliver a NASA satellite to lunar orbit next year,” Beck added.
NASA is considering Category 2 certification for Rocket Lab’s launch vehicle for use in sending higher value payloads to orbit. The company has performed 10 consecutive orbital missions as of February for the U.S. Air Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and other government clients.