WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (WAVY) – Rocket Lab has announced their new suborbital testbed launch vehicle.

According to a press release, the new rocket, named HASTE (Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron), derives from Rocket Lab’s heritage Electron rocket, which has been providing reliable access to orbit since 2018 and has deployed satellites from NASA, NRO, DARPA, and the U.S. Space Force.

HASTE will provide reliable flight-test opportunities to advance hypersonic system technology development.

Hypersonic and suborbital test capabilities are key priorities for the nation, yet the DoD’s ability to test these systems has been limited. With HASTE, we’ve taken a proven vehicle in Electron and tailored it specifically to deliver highly capable, frequent, and cost-effective hypersonic and suborbital test opportunities from our existing launch site in Virginia,” Senior Director of Global Launch Services, Brian Rogers. “Importantly, HASTE is not the promise of a future capability – it’s a completed launch vehicle ready for flight now, with the first one currently preparing for launch at our Integration and Control Facility in Wallops, Virginia, in the coming months.” 

The inaugural launch is scheduled to take place during the first half of 2023 at NASA Wallops Flight Facility.