The company said Rocket Lab’s Electron missile failed to reach orbit after an unexpected mid-flight shutdown on Saturday, resulting in the loss of two satellites during the mission. The New Zealand launch was Electron’s 20th issue and marked the company’s second failed mission in less than a year.
The nearly six-story high Electron rocket with two supercharging phases was launched at 7:11 a.m.ET on Saturday from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula, targeting a pair of satellites to Earth observation for BlackSky in orbit. . After two and a half minutes of flight, the rocket’s second stage thruster successfully separated from the first stage and ignited for a few seconds before extinguishing, indicating a problem as seen in the broadcast of live launch of the company. I lost control of the telemetry mission shortly after.
“There was an issue during the launch of the day which resulted in the loss of the mission,” said Rocket Lab. beep After failure. “Our customers are very sorry about the launch of BlackSky and Spaceflight. The problem arose shortly after the second ignition phase. Further information will be made available as it becomes available. “
The secondary objective of the mission, dubbed “Running from the Toes,” included a test of certain hardware upgrades intended to improve electron reuse, including a new heat shield to re-boost. Rocket Lab said in a statement that the first stage of the boosted rocket was successfully launched into the ocean under parachutes, as expected after the second stage was lifted into space.
The company is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the cause of Saturday’s problem and correct it for future missions, the statement said. “With several launchers currently in production, Rocket Lab is ready for a quick return to flight once the investigation is complete and all necessary corrective actions have been taken,” she said. No injuries or general damage were reported.
“We will learn from it and come back to the platform,” Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab said in the statement. BlackSky Launch Agent, Retweeted The Rocket Lab statement says, “This is what we received from Rocket Lab. We will continue to provide updates as we learn more. “
Electron The last failure In July 2020, it carried seven satellites and ultimately lost after closing its second phase prematurely. Rocket lab He returned to the trip Two months after repairing a faulty electrical connection, he continued six successful electronic missions thereafter. The company launched a total of 17 successful missions.