WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (WAVY) – It’s a first for Rocket Lab, as it has launched its first rocket from U.S. soil at Launch Complex 2 at the Mid Atlantic regional spaceport at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

This mission will launch three satellites, about the size of a microwave, for Hawkeye 360, a company that specializes in Radio Frequency communications.  Between now and 2024 there will be additional launches to add more satellites.

Rocket Lab has launched more than 30 electron rockets from its pad in New Zealand for the last several years. To get a rocket ready for launch from Wallops, it took about two years, and it adds support to more customers and expands their reach into the cosmos.

“It’s our very first launch here in the U.S., said Morgan Bailey, Rocket Lab senior director of communications. “So we’ve got a super well practiced team, but you know there’s a first time for everything. So we just want to get out there on the pad and get this thing into orbit.”

Launches will become a lot more common, as Rocket Lab has also been selected by NASA to launch satellites for the TROPICS mission. These small satellites will help study the development of tropical storms and hurricanes which could lead to more accurate forecasts. That launch is scheduled for May.

“And obviously that’s really needed ahead of the next tropical storm season,” Morgan said, “so we are super excited to be launching that mission right here from Wallops.”