Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (NASDAQ: RKLB) witnessed a notable 8.30% surge in its stock value to reach $5.60 during the pre-market trading session, following a commendable 4.87% uptick in Rocket Lab stock in the preceding session, closing at $5.17. This pre-market upswing in RKLB stock is attributed to a strategic development revealed today.
Today marked another milestone for Rocket Lab (RKLB) as it successfully executed the launch of its 42nd Electron rocket, deploying a satellite for the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, Inc. (iQPS), a Japan-based Earth imaging company. Notably, this mission represents Rocket Lab’s 10th Electron launch for the year, surpassing its previous annual record of nine launches achieved in 2022.
Electron has now maintained its status as the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually for the fifth consecutive year. Dubbed “The Moon God Awakens,” the mission took off from Pad B at RKLB’s Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand at 17:05 NZDT / 04:05 UTC on December 15th. The iQPS-SAR-5 satellite, named “TSUKUYOMI-I” after the Japanese God of the Moon, is a synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) satellite designed for capturing high-resolution images of Earth.
This satellite, part of a 36-satellite constellation, will contribute to monitoring Earth at specific fixed points every 10 minutes, complementing an existing iQPS satellite already in orbit. Remarkably, the entire process from contract signing to the successful launch transpired within a concise eight-month timeframe, underscoring Rocket Lab’s capability to deliver tailored, dedicated launches on accelerated schedules.
With Electron maintaining its position as the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually for the fifth consecutive year, Rocket Lab is now channeling its efforts towards surpassing this achievement with an even more active schedule of launches in 2024. Specifics about Rocket Lab’s next Electron mission will be disclosed in the imminent days.