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.