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Technology Rocket Lab declares Electron launch failure

03:40  05 july  2020
03:40  05 july  2020 Source:   cbsnews.com

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Rocket Lab lost its primary Electron rocket during the company’s 13th mission to space on July 4th, due to some unknown anomaly. The company’s Electron rocket successfully took off at 5:19PM ET from Rocket Lab ’s primary launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

Rocket Lab 's launch vehicle: Frequent and reliable access to space. Electron makes use of advanced carbon composite materials for a strong and lightweight flight structure. Through an extensive research program, Rocket Lab has developed carbon composite tanks that are compatible with liquid

The second stage of a Rocket Lab Electron rocket carrying seven small satellites malfunctioned after launch from New Zealand on Saturday, suddenly slowing down and losing altitude. The company confirmed the vehicle and its payloads were lost, but no indication of what went wrong was immediately available.

070420-electron.jpg © Rocket Lab 070420-electron.jpg

"We lost the flight late into the mission," company CEO Peter Beck tweeted. "I am incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver our customers satellites today. Rest assured we will find the issue, correct it and be back on the pad soon."

Rocket Lab's innovative Electron launcher, featuring 3D-printed engines and battery-powered fuel pumps, is designed to launch small satellites into low-Earth orbit at a relatively low cost, providing access to space for payloads that otherwise might have to wait for more expensive rides aboard larger boosters.

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WASHINGTON — A Rocket Lab Electron rocket failed to reach orbit during a July 4 launch after a problem during the rocket ’s second-stage burn. I am incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver our customers satellites today,” Peter Beck, chief executive of Rocket Lab , tweeted after the failure .

Launch window: 2113-2203 GMT (5:13-6:03 p.m. EDT) Launch site: Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand Destination: Low Earth Orbit A Rocket Lab

The rocket launched Saturday was making the company's 13th flight. It was carrying an experimental imaging satellite built by Canon, five "SuperDove" Earth-observation imaging satellites owned by Planet and a small technology demonstration satellite built by the British firm In-Space Missions.

The Electron blasted off from Rocket Lab's picturesque launch site on the rocky coast of the Mahia Peninsula at 5:19 p.m. EDT. The nine Rutherford engines powering the first stage performed normally, boosting the rocket out of the lower atmosphere. The second stage, featuring a single vacuum-optimized engine, then took over.

a stop sign lit up at night: An Electron rocket blasts off from New Zealand Saturday carrying seven small satellites. The mission ended in failure when the rocket's second stage malfunctioned. / Credit: Rocket Lab © Provided by CBS News An Electron rocket blasts off from New Zealand Saturday carrying seven small satellites. The mission ended in failure when the rocket's second stage malfunctioned. / Credit: Rocket Lab

But about five minutes and 41 seconds after takeoff, telemetry provided by Rocket Lab, displayed along with company-provided video from cameras on the rocket, showed the stage's velocity peaking at around 8,509 mph, at an altitude of about 119 miles, and then starting to drop.

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Rocket Lab ’s Electron rocket second test flight, nicknamed Still Testing, was launched from Launch Complex 1 at the Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, on 21

Rocket Labs Declares “Don’t Stop Me Now” with Twelfth Electron Launch . Featured Image: Electron booster for “As the Crow Flies” mission. (Image credit: Rocket Lab ) NEW ZEALAND – Rocket Labs , a relative newcomer to the launch service arena, has succes…

The altitude continued to increase for another 26 seconds or so, reaching 121 miles, before it, too, began decreasing. Rocket Lab ended its launch webcast a few minutes later without any comment on the telemetry or outcome of the mission. But Beck confirmed loss of mission a few minutes after that.

Rocket Lab, founded in New Zealand and now headquartered in Long Beach, California, launched its first Electron in 2017. The flight was terminated after a loss of telemetry, but the booster was operating normally at the time. Saturday's loss was the company's second Electron failure in 13 flights.

Spaceflight, a company that brokers rideshare missions, including Canon's launch Saturday, said in a statement "we are of course disappointed, while at the same time are always aware that launch failures are part of the business of space."

"We will work closely with Rocket Lab and our customer Canon Electronics who had their CE-SAT-IB imaging satellite onboard this mission to figure out the next steps, but we are undeterred in our resolve to get our customers to space. Our hearts go out to all the teams who worked so hard on this mission."

Virgin Orbit's big demonstration launch doesn't make it to space

  Virgin Orbit's big demonstration launch doesn't make it to space Cosmic girl took off, but LauncherOne didn't make it to orbit.The company's modified 747, Cosmic Girl, flew over the Pacific Ocean off California with the LauncherOne rocket attached to its belly and dropped it as planned, but then something went wrong.

Rocket Lab is a private American aerospace manufacturer and smallsat launch service provider with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary.

Rocket Lab ’s Electron rocket first commercial launch , nicknamed “It’s Business Time”, was launched from Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand, on

A statement from Planet expressed support for Rocket Lab.

"While it's never the outcome that we hope for, the risk of launch failure is one Planet is always prepared for," the company said on its website. "We already have 26 SuperDoves ... slated for launch on (an Arianespace) Vega rocket later this summer, and several other launches over the next 12 months are on the manifest."

"We have full faith that Rocket Lab will be able to bounce back from today's failure in no time, and we look forward to flying on the Electron again," Planet added.

Finally, In-Space tweeted its team was "absolutely gutted by this news. Two years of hard work from an incredibly committed group of brilliant engineers up in smoke. It really was a very cool little spacecraft."

China eyes July 20-25 launch for Mars rover .
China's first Mars rover should launch later this month, authorities said Wednesday, as the country races to catch up with the US dominance of space. It will be China's first interplanetary mission, and takes place shortly before the next US Mars rover -- timed to launch no earlier than July 30. Named after an ancient Chinese poem, the Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter, rover and lander, and is expected to collect samples from the planet's surface, the launch centre said.The system will be carried into space on a Long March 5 rocket and is expected to reach Mars sometime in February 2021.

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