Rocket Lab sets date for new attempt at second launch

Peter Beck’s Rocket Lab has scheduled another attempt for its second test launch of the Electron Rocket, with a launch window opening next Saturday.

The test launch follows an unsuccessful attempt at Māhia Peninsula in December last year. Rocket Lab lost several days to poor weather and a power fault during ground checks.

The aerospace company says it will open a nine day launch window from January 20, with a four hour window open from 2.30pm each day. As with December’s failed attempt, the event will be livestreamed on YouTube and the Rocket Lab website.

As with the last attempt, it is expected the company will postpone the launch many times to wait for perfect conditions. The company will consider the weather and make allowances for small technical modifications.

The launch titled ‘Still Testing’ will carry an Earth-imaging Dove satellite for Planet and two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire for weather and ship tracking, enabling Rocket Lab to gather crucial data and test systems for the deployment stage of a mission. 

It follows a launch in May last year where the Electron Rocket successfully took off but was terminated before launching orbit.

Rocket Lab founder Mr Beck says the test is an important next step in democratising access to space.

“Increased access to space will vastly improve humanity’s ability to build orbital infrastructure, such as constellations of weather and Earth-imaging satellites. These will provide more data about our planet and enable us as a species to make informed decisions about how we better manage our impact. This test launch is a crucial next step in gathering more data from Electron so we can deliver on this future,” he says.

Watch the full video on Peter Beck's NBR Radar profile by pressing the play button

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