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Rocket Lab Signs Deal to Launch South Korean Satellite

KAIST’s NeonSat-1 will launch as the primary payload on an Electron rideshare mission with NASA in the first half of 2024.

Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it has signed a launch services agreement to launch an Earth observation satellite for the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) on a rideshare mission in the first half of 2024.

KAIST’s NeonSat-1 will be the primary payload on an Electron rideshare mission that will also deploy NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, or ACS3 satellite. The mission will lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand.

“2024 is shaping up to be our busiest launch year yet with a fully booked manifest of Electron missions,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “By combining this mission with the launch of NASA’s ACS3 spacecraft, we’ve been able to provide KAIST with a launch opportunity on short notice to help them reach orbit faster. It’s a privilege to be working with the KAIST team and we are thrilled to be providing them with timely and affordable launch services on Electron.”

Jae-Hung Han, Director General of the Satellite Technology Research Center (SaTReC) at KAIST said: "We highly anticipate collaborating with Rocket Lab for a successful launch of our first satellite of the NEONSAT microsatellite constellation program."

NeonSat-1 is a high-resolution optical satellite that will be deployed as a technology demonstration for a planned future Earth observation constellation. KAIST is Korea’s leading science and technology institution, having developed and operated Korea’s very first satellite KAIST when it was successfully launched more than 30 years ago.

In addition to being launched by Electron, KAIST’s NeonSat-1 will use Rocket Lab’s MLB satellite separation system in the Company’s latest demonstration of its vertically integrated space systems strategy.

+ About Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a global leader in launch and space systems. Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle is the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered more than 171 satellites to orbit for commercial and Government partners, including NASA, the U.S. Air Force, DARPA and the NRO. Rocket Lab also delivers proven suborbital hypersonic launch capability with its HASTE launch vehicle. Building on the deep heritage of Electron, Rocket Lab is developing Neutron, an advanced 13-tonne payload class, reusable launch vehicle tailored for constellation deployment and interplanetary missions. Rocket Lab is also a premier supplier of advanced satellites, flight-proven subsystems and spacecraft components. At a component level, Rocket Lab spacecraft technology spans space solar power, composite structures, flight software, star trackers, reaction wheels, separation systems, and more. Rocket Lab satellite technology and components have been integrated into more than 1,700 satellite missions globally.


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 operation, 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, 2022, 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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