Last year, we had the pleasure of awarding the title of the M2 Man of the Year to Rocket Lab’s, Peter Beck. His New Zealand-based space empire, Rocket Lab, launched their first rocket of the year in late March.
It’s purpose was to send its 150 kilogram Radio Frequency Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) spacecraft up into orbit. It’s an experimental satellite that will be operated by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The DARPA is a new style of membrane reflectarray antenna that will deploy to its full size of 2.25 metres in diameter on reaching to low Earth orbit. The launch took place at the Rocket Lab launch complex on the Mahia Peninsula. The 150 kg satellite was designed by MMA and Blue Canyon Technologies provided by the spacecraft bus.
Image credit: Kieran Fanning and Sam Toms