US orbital launch provider Rocket Lab has signed an agreement with Circle Aerospace for ten dedicated Electron launches, with the first launch scheduled to lift off in Q4 2019, with the others expected to follow in 2020. Headquartered in Dubai, Circle Aerospace is a new turnkey launch brokerage and satellite development company serving to catalyze the growth of a commercial space and small satellite industry across the United Arab Emirates and wider Gulf Cooperation Council nations (GCC). Circle Aerospace offers full-spectrum, bespoke orbital solutions, including the design, build, and launch of payloads for customers worldwide. Circle Aerospace missions will primarily launch from Rocket Lab’s private orbital launch site, Launch Complex-1, in New Zealand. Launches may also be conducted from Rocket Lab’s US launch site as required.
Rocket Labs is planning not just to offer satellites rides into orbit. The firm is also offering positions on its upper stage to test space hardware and concepts. For example, on its next flight – now delayed until November – a drag sail demonstrator called NABEO is being flown for High Performance Space Structure Systems GmBH. In early 2019, another hosted payload is being flown – this time for Ecliptic and Beyond Sensors LLC.