Saturday, July 4, 2020

Rocket Lab launch fails 4 minutes into flight

Rocket Lab 13th "Electron" mission experienced a catastrophic anomaly four minutes into flight, resulting in the loss of customer payload. The mission, ‘Pics Or It Didn’t Happen,’ was launched from New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.

The primary payload was Canon Electronics Inc.’s CE-SAT-IB, which was procured by satellite rideshare and mission management provider Spaceflight Inc. Canon Electronics was seeking to demonstrate Earth-imaging technology with high-resolution and wide-angle cameras, as well as test its microsatellite for mass production.
ocket Lab, which, currently has more than eight Electron rockets in production, said it hopes to be ready for a rapid return to flight as soon as investigations are complete and any required corrective actions are in place.

“We are deeply sorry to our customers Spaceflight Inc., Canon Electronics Inc., Planet, and In-Space Missions for the loss of their payloads. We know many people poured their hearts and souls into those spacecraft. Today's anomaly is a reminder that space launch can be unforgiving, but we will identify the issue, rectify it, and be safely back on the pad as soon as possible,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and CEO. “The launch team operated with professionalism and expertise to implement systems and procedures that ensured the anomaly was managed safely. I’m proud of the way they have responded to a tough day. We’re working together as a team to comb through the data, learn from today, and prepare for our next mission.”