Rocket Lab makes another attempt at rocket launch in New Zealand
by Brooks Hays
Washington DC (UPI) Dec 11, 2017
Aerospace startup company Rocket Lab will make another attempt to launch its Electron rocket tonight. Its last attempt was scrubbed when the International Space Station got in the way.
The launch window will reopen Monday night at 8:30 p.m. EST -- 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday in New Zealand -- where the launch will take place.
"The Rocket Lab launch team is on console and readying Electron for the push to orbit today from Launch Complex-1," the company tweeted.
The launch will be streamed live on Rocket Lab's website.
Rocket Lab is based in the United States but operates a New Zealand subsidiary. If and when the Electron blastoff happens, the rocket will release a trio of satellites belonging to the startup's first clients, the companies Planet and Spire.
The payload includes Planet's Earth-imaging Dove satellite and two Lemur-2 satellites made by Spire. The two Lemur-2 satellites can map weather and track ships.
Despite the cargo, the company still considers the launch a test. In fact, they've dubbed the launch "Still Testing."
"Still Waiting" might be a more apt name.
The company was originally supposed to send Electron to space last week, but delays continue to push back the launch.
The company warned its clients and those excited to see a launch that patience would be required.
"We're expecting to scrub multiple times as we wait for perfect conditions and make sure everything on the vehicle is performing as it should," Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, said in a statement.
Rocket Lab aims to provide launch services to smaller satellites, or what are often called CubeSats. The company believes its smaller rockets will offer the launch schedule flexibility that makers of the toaster-sized satellites want. The company also hopes to lower the financial barrier to entry for space research.
"As the name suggests, we are still very much in a test phase, but this flight is a significant milestone for our team and the next step in our mission to democratize space," Beck said.
Electron is a tow-stage rocket. It's 55 feet tall and can manage payloads of up to 550 pounds.
During the inaugural test flight of Electron, the rocket made it to the edge of space but failed to enter orbit.
Washington (UPI) Dec 7, 2017
Aerospace startup company Rocket Lab have delayed plans to launch its Electron rocket until Friday. The four-hour launch window was originally supposed to open at 8:30 p.m. ET on Thursday - Friday in New Zealand, where the rocket will launch from. The new window will open at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday - 1:30 in the afternoon on Saturday in New Zealand. Officials said the launch was ... read more
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