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World Rocket Lab vehicle fails to reach orbit, loses payload of satellites

02:15  05 july  2020
02:15  05 july  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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By Joey Roulette

(Reuters) - A rocket from small-satellite launch firm Rocket Lab failed to reach orbit minutes after a successful liftoff from New Zealand on Saturday, the company said, losing its payload of seven small satellites it had intended to carry to space.

"An issue was experienced today during Rocket Lab's launch that caused the loss of the vehicle," the company said on Twitter, adding more information will be shared as available.

"We are deeply sorry to the customers on board Electron," the Auckland, New Zealand-based company said. "The issue occurred late in the flight during the 2nd stage burn."

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“ Reaching orbit on a second test flight is significant on its own, but successfully deploying During the first flight test of the vehicle , appropriately called “It’s a Test,” the Electron made it to space but failed to make it The rocket carried three commercial satellites on this trip: a Dove Earth-imaging satellite for And that means Rocket Lab can finally start launching the payloads of its long customer lineup

The second test launch of the privately-built Falcon 1 rocket failed to reach its intended orbit late Standingabout 68 feet (21 meters) tall, SpaceX's Falcon 1 rocket is a two-stage boosterdesigned to carry satellite payloads of up to 1,256 SpaceX's Inaugural Falcon 1 Rocket Lost Just After Launch.

Rocket Lab is one of a growing group of launch companies looking to slash the cost of sending shoebox-sized satellites to low Earth orbit, building smaller rockets and reinventing traditional production lines to meet a growing payload demand.

The rocket's altitude peaked at 121 miles (195 km) roughly seven minutes after liftoff before quickly decreasing, according to in-flight telemetry on the company's live video feed.

It was aiming to send five tiny Earth imaging satellites from Planet Labs, one microsatellite from Canon Electronics Inc., and a cubesat from British company In-Space Missions into a sun-synchronous orbit 310 miles above Earth.

"While it's never the outcome that we hope for, the risk of launch failure is one Planet is always prepared for," Planet Labs said in a statement on Saturday, adding it looked "forward to flying on the Electron again" in the future.

(Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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