Space technology company Rocket Lab has confirmed its next launch will carry United States military technology.
Rocket Lab, founded by Kiwi Peter Beck, will launch an experimental antenna for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the US Department of Defense's experimental technology division.
Beck said the launch would carry an RF Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration (R3D2) spacecraft in a test that had been approved at the ministerial level in New Zealand.
"The mission could help validate emerging concepts for a resilient sensor and data transport layer in low Earth orbit, a capability that does not exist today, but one which could revolutionise global communications by laying the groundwork for a space-based internet," Beck said.
* Rocket Lab successfully launches first commercial rocket
* Rocket Lab and Government approvers defend 'humanity star' purpose
* New Zealand space industry prepares for blast off
* Rocket Lab's value shoots past US$1b after capital raise
"The antenna, made of a tissue-thin Kapton membrane, packs tightly inside the small satellite for stowage during launch, before deploying to its full size of 2.25 meters in diameter once it reaches low Earth orbit.
Rocket Lab hoped to launch DARPA's R3D2 from its launch pad in Mahia Peninsular, in the Wairoa district, late next month.
Beck said there was a stringent process for assessing and approving the suitability of payloads for launch on Rocket Lab's Electron satellite launch vehicle.
"All applications for a payload permit are subject to assessments against a number of criteria set out in the Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Act," he said.
The criteria included assessing payloads against New Zealands international obligations, safe operation, orbital debris mitigation and national interest and security.
Rocket Lab's R3D2 launch followed a successful 2018 for the company, which included a partnership with US space agency NASA.
While launching from New Zealand, Rocket Lab had multiple ties with the US military.
One of the company's investors was Lockheed Martin, the world's largest weapons manufacturer.
DARPA was described as the Pentagon's "mad science division", tasked with pioneering new technology for both military and commercial applications.
Ive been telling people about this. Most have absolutely NO IDEA this is going on.
Oh the irony.
So our weekend is being primed for rocket launch I take it. Not a mention on lamestream far as I know.
By that I mean clear, still sunny days with not a cloud in the sky and rocketing temperatures excuse the pun.
So as long as the test is " approved at ministerial level " in NZ, it's all systems go!
I can not wait to see the outdoor camera livestream view!!
Ha! ALL satellites are used as "dual use" military satellites! Does Peter Beck live in New Zealand, too?
Peter Beck was apparently a 'nice' southland boy (the Tiger array is in the area he apparently grew up in).
New Zealand,helping MAGA
Well Charming Anarchist I just hope all flat earthers eventually come to understand the reason why we call "flat earth theory" a psychological operation.
They wanted thousands of people in the truth movement believing that space doesn't exist so they could roll out all this stuff and have people in the "awakening community" come on sites like this and constantly question those of us that want to expose all this extremely destructive space based technology.
It was done deliberately to suck up our time and energy as we now have to fight with each other in the long haul of attempting to educate the unsuspecting public on whats really going on.
Shame really, that so many questioning souls got sucked into flat earth not realising they would become automatic mouthpieces for Naval Intelligence. That's how psychological operations work.