The National Reconnaissance Office is scheduled to launch the NROL-162 & 199 missions aboard a pair of Rocket Lab Electron rockets from Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. These missions demonstrate NRO’s capability to launch multiple rockets from overseas locations back-to-back, and both carry national security payloads designed, built, and operated by NRO. NROL-162 & 199 are NRO’s third and fourth launch of 2022, and are part of more than a half-dozen planned launches for the year.

About the Mission Emblem

In the NROL-162 patch, the frilled neck lizard is a reptile primarily located in northern Australia and much like the lizard, it represents the small, agile nature of the payload to be launched. NROL-162 is significant for NRO as the Australian Department of Defence is a project partner, and the frilled neck lizard chosen for the logo recognizes Australia’s involvement. For the Australian Department of Defence, this is an opportunity to partner with an experienced space acquisition organization as it prepares to acquire its own national security satellite capability towards the end of the decade. Hence the Latin term, Sapiens Qui Prospicit; ”Wise is the person who looks ahead.”

Launch Vehicle


Rocket Lab logo Electron is a two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by Rocket Lab for dedicated access to space of small satellites. This will be the 27th and 28th launch of the Electron rocket.

Rutherford Engine(s)

Proven performance. The world’s first 3D-printed, electric-pump-fed rocket engine.

First Stage

  • 9 Sea-level Rutherford Engines
  • Lift-off Thrust: 190 kN (43,000 lbf)
  • Peak Thrust: 224 kN (56,000 lbf)
  • ISP: 311 seconds


Pneumatic Pusher

Second Stage

  • Single Vacuum Rutherford Engine
  • Total Thrust: 25.8 kN (5,800 lbf)
  • ISP: 343 seconds

Kick Stage

Electron’s unique Kick Stage is designed to deliver small satellites to precise and unique orbits, whether flying as dedicated or rideshare.

  • Deployment of payloads at multiple planes/inclinations
  • Higher altitude deployment
  • Hosted payload support
  • Multiple trajectory changes
  • Sustained low altitude orbits
  • Deorbiting payloads to eliminate space debris

Site Info

Rocket Lab offers the world’s only private orbital launch range in Mahia, New Zealand. An FAA-licensed spaceport, Launch Complex 1 can provide up to 120 launch opportunities every year. From the site it is possible to reach orbital inclinations from sun-synchronous through to 30 degrees, enabling a wide spectrum of inclinations to service the majority of the satellite industry’s missions to low Earth orbit.

Electron Illustration
Download the NROL-162 Press Kit

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For more than 60 years, the NRO has leveraged innovation and strategic partnerships to develop, acquire, launch, and operate America's spy satellites.

More on the Mission
National Reconnaissance Office - Above and Beyond