Seattle’s Space Needle makes its debut on Rocket Lab mission patch, thanks to Spaceflight Inc.

The rocket nose cone for Rocket Lab’s mission to launch two BlackSky satellites is emblazoned with a mission patch that features Seattle’s Space Needle on the right side. (Rocket Lab via Twitter)

What could be more fitting than to put Seattle’s Space Needle on the patch for an actual space mission?

Even though this particular mission is due to be launched half a world away, there’s more than one Seattle connection to the Rocket Lab mission that’s due for liftoff as early as April 1.

The payloads for the launch from Rocket Lab’s base on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula are two satellites built by a Seattle-area manufacturer, LeoStella, for BlackSky’s Earth-observing constellation. LeoStella is a joint venture co-owned by Thales Alenia Space, a French-Italian venture; and BlackSky, which is based in the Washington, D.C., area but has a Seattle office.

Most significantly, preparations for the launch were handled by Seattle-based Spaceflight Inc., which specializes in making the arrangements for putting small satellites like BlackSky’s spacecraft into orbit.

On the patch for the mission, whimsically dubbed “Without Mission a Beat,” the Space Needle rises to the right of Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle.

“It’s a great patch, no?” Jodi Sorensen, Spaceflight Inc.’s vice president of marketing, said in a tweet. “The Needle’s a nod to @SpaceflightInc, and we love it!”

In a parallel nod to BlackSky, the Washington Monument is also on the patch.

CollectSpace’s Robert Pearlman, who keeps close track of news angles involving space artifacts and memorabilia, said this could well be the first time Seattle’s iconic monument has been featured on a space mission patch, “unless the Space Needle appeared on a payload patch.”

“A quick search didn’t bring up any other examples,” he said in a tweet.

“Without Mission a Beat” will mark the 25th launch for Rocket Lab, which became a publicly traded company last August thanks to a blank-check merger. BlackSky, which was once Spaceflight Inc.’s sister company, also went public last year.

See also  Is the internet going to end? Signs around Seattle beg the question ahead of unique date, 12022021

The launch would boost BlackSky’s constellation to 14 satellites, marking one more step toward the company’s goal of having 30 satellites in low Earth orbit. BlackSky is already delivering a steady flow of satellite photos for government and commercial clients, including imagery documenting the effects of the war in Ukraine.

The patch for “Without Mission a Beat” is likely to show up in Rocket Lab’s online store after liftoff. Spaceflight Inc. has its own patch for the mission, which it calls RL-11.

Related Posts

‘We have Leonardos among us’: DaVinci exhibit shows Seattle region’s spirit of innovation

The DaVinci’s Inventions exhibit opens at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle on Saturday. (GeekWire Photos / Laurel Deppen) An international exhibit showcasing newly-built works…

Real estate riches: Paul Allen’s Hawaii estate sells for $43M; Oprah home gets $14M on Orcas Island

Paul Allen at the University of Washington in 2017. (GeekWire File Photo / Todd Bishop) High-priced real estate with Northwest connections has changed hands for top dollar…

Seattle Thunderbolts take cricket to the next level as tech backers follow dream to grow sport in U.S.

The Seattle Thunderbolts pose for a photo after receiving new jerseys. (Seattle Thunderbolts Photo) Cricket fans in the Seattle area now have a team to get behind…

Melinda French Gates cheers on future son-in-law at Olympics as he competes in equestrian for Egypt

Nayel Nassar and Jennifer Gates, oldest daughter of Bill and Melinda French Gates. (Instagram Photo via @nayelnassar) Melinda French Gates is paying special attention to the Tokyo…

Paul Allen superyacht Octopus finally sells after being listed for nearly $300M

Seattle may have landed the Kraken, but someone else is taking over the Octopus. The 414-foot superyacht that once belonged to Paul Allen, the late Microsoft co-founder…

Extra high tech in Seattle: Photos show worker at tip of Space Needle spire installing new PanoCam

A worker is visible atop the Space Needle spire with the Seattle skyline as a backdrop. (Space Needle Photo) There’s Seattle tech, and then there’s Seattle high…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *