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Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket fails, loses payload of two satellites

The company said Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket was unable to go into orbit after an unexpected engine shutdown mid-flight on Saturday lost the payload of two satellites on the mission. The New Zealand launch marks Electron’s 20th day and marks the company’s second mission failure in less than a year.

The Electron, a six-story rocket with two booster stages, was lifted off Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand at 7:11 AM ET on Saturday with the aim of A pair of Earth observation satellites for BlackSky went into orbit. Two and a half minutes into flight, the second stage booster of the rocket successfully separated from the first stage and detonated for a few seconds before shutting down. Indicated the issue, as seen in the company̵

7;s launch live stream, Mission Control lost its booster telemetry shortly after.

“Crashes during today’s launch resulted in the loss of the mission,” Rocket Lab tweeted after the failure. “We sincerely apologize to customers launching BlackSky and Spaceflight. Second stage bomb Additional information will be provided when available. “

The secondary objectives for this mission are called “Run from Foot” involves testing some hardware upgrades to improve Electron’s re-usability, including a new heat shield for booster return. The rocket’s first phase booster successfully splashed into the ocean under a parachute as planned after raising the second stage into space, Rocket Lab said in a statement.

The company is working with the Federal Aviation Administration. To investigate the root cause of the issue Saturday to address issues for future missions. “With several launch vehicles in production, the Rocket Lab is preparing for a swift return to flight as soon as investigations are complete and underway. The necessary corrective action has been taken, ”it said. No injuries or damages have been reported to the public.

“We will learn from this and we will be back to the pad again,” Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said in a BlackSky statement. What We Get With Rocket Lab We’ll keep you updated as we learn more. ”

Electron’s last failure occurred in July 2020, with and ultimately losing seven satellites after the second phase shut down prematurely.Rocket Lab returned to flight two months later after suffering a crash. Liquidated a faulty electrical connection and performed six successful electron missions thereafter, the company launched 17 successful missions in all.

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