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USSF awards $14.49 million contract to Rocket Lab for space mission



Rocket Lab Rocket Development Center Long Beach

U.S. Space Force (USSF) has awarded a $14.49 million contract to Rocket Lab to send a dedicated rocket mission for the Space Test Program (STP)-S30.

This mission will deliver research experiments and technology demonstrations to orbit for the DoD and will help to improve space systems development.

Rocket Lab will use its Electron rocket for this mission with 200 kilograms of STP satellites to low-Earth orbit. A potential launch date is planned for April 2026. The launch time may change.

STP-S30 mission will provide orbital launch services for the DoD Space Test Program (STP). The DoD STP improves the space-based warfighter technologies in DoD enterprise by enabling space access solutions for research and development auxiliary payloads on DoD, civil, and commercial launches.


It will also be available for non-DoD auxiliary payloads searching for launch opportunities on DoD missions.

STP-S30 is selected by STP through the DoD Space Experiments Review Board (SERB). The primary payload is DISKSat which will demonstrate very low earth orbit (VLEO) flight.

It has a 1-meter diameter disk-shaped satellite bus designed to increase on-orbit persistence. VLEO capabilities will improve the imaging resolution, communications, and atmospheric measurements.

The dedicated Electron launch will liftoff from Launch Complex 2, a dedicated pad for the Electron rocket at Virginia Spaceport Autority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within the NASA Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Easter Shore.


This new contract for Rocket Lab comes after the company delivered the Air Force Research Lab demonstration satellite in 2021. It also deployed the STP-27RD mission for DoD in 2019.

The rocket company is working with USSF on a medium-lift vehicle Neutron through a $24.35 million contract to support the development of its upper stage.



Mel Trivalo is a senior author at, he began his early career in electronics in 2021 and turned his attention towards Space and Rocket Science. Mel likes to explore new technologies and swings baseball to run through creative thoughts.

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