Rocket Lab satellite launch from Māhia Peninsula fails

Published by Stuff, 16 May 2021

Rocket Lab says a launch of satellites from its facility on Māhia Peninsula failed on Saturday.

The problem occurred during ignition of the Electron rocket’s second stage, the company said in a statement.

The rocket was carrying two Earth-observation satellites for BlackSky, a global monitoring company.

“Today’s anomaly occurred after 17 successful orbital launches of the Electron launch vehicle.

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Up to now, Rocket Lab has been launching small rockets from its launch site on Māhia Peninsula, using its lightweight rocket, called Electron.

“With multiple launch vehicles currently in production, Rocket Lab is prepared for a rapid return to flight as soon as investigations are complete and any required corrective actions are in place,” the statement said.

“We are deeply sorry to our customer BlackSky for the loss of their payloads.

We understand the monumental effort that goes into every spacecraft and we feel their loss and disappointment.”

Rocket Lab said the rocket’s first stage successfully parachuted into the ocean and crews were working to recover it.

The company is trying to develop a capability to recover and reuse Electron first stages.

Rocket Lab is headquartered in Long Beach, California, US, and has launch sites on Māhia Peninsula and Wallops Island, Virginia, US.

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