Rocket Lab has bagged the US Space Force's Space Systems Command (SSC) contract worth $24.35M to build Neutron Upper Stage
Rocket Lab, a public American aerospace manufacturer and satellite launch service provider owned by a New Zealand subsidiary, has bagged the US Space Force's Space Systems Command (SSC) worth $24.35 million to develop the Neutron launch vehicle's upper stage. The agreement will signify the company's commitment to becoming a global leader in providing launch vehicles for the National Security Space Launch (NSSL) program, primarily launching the USA's crucial missions.
Along with the SSC, Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC) will be funding the company to develop Neutron's upper stage. This mission will predominantly help national and defense security to launch various scientific and experimental satellites to carry the critical national security payloads. The award is part of the USA's $75 million research and development program, and it has been approved by Congress to advance the development of domestic launch systems.
The Upper Stage Development contract with the SSC's will help maximize mass-to-orbit capability and orbital insertion accuracy of the launch vehicle. It will help to launch the highest priority national defense and security missions. Currently, NSSL launch providers include big companies like SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. The awarding of this contract will recognize the Rocket Lab as a potential NSSL Phase 3 Launch provider from 2025.