Rocket Lab successfully launches first Electron

Rocket Lab successfully launches first Electron rocket since September failure

  • SYDNEY : Rocket Lab on Friday said it had launched its Electron rocket into space from a site in New Zealand, the SpaceX rival’s first flight since a mission failure in September.
  • The rocket, carrying a satellite for the Institute for Q-shu Pioneers of Space, a Japan-based Earth imaging company, blasted off from a launch pad on the country’s North Island about 5:05 p.m. local time (0405 GMT).
  • After passing through standard mission milestones, it fired a “kick stage” to lift the satellite into its final orbit about 9 minutes into the flight, to cheers in the mission control room. The satellite reached orbit about 50 minutes later.
  • The previous mission, the Electron’s 41st, failed about 2 1/2 minutes into its flight as it carried a satellite from synthetic-aperture radar company Capella Space toward orbit. It was Rocket Lab’s first mission failure in over two years.
  • The mission on Friday, dubbed “The Mood God Awakens” in recognition of its payload TSUKUYOMI-I, named after the Japanese god of the moon, is Rocket Lab’s 10th Electron launch this year, the company said, compared with nine in 2022.
  • Rocket Lab has said it would try to recover the Electron boosters as part of its bid to reuse rockets.

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