Rocket Lab launch site in New Zealand

Rocket Lab launch site in New Zealand

Rocket Lab USA Inc., the Long Beach-based aerospace company, made a successful return to flight on Aug. 30, rebounding from a July mission in which the company lost its launch vehicle and client payloads.

The mission marks the 14th launch of the company’s Electron rocket. Rocket Lab has now deployed 54 satellites.


The “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical” mission launched from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula. The Electron rocket deployed a single microsatellite to a circular orbit at about 500 kilometers for Capella Space Corp. 

Rocket Lab said Capella’s satellite will provide insights and data that can be used for security, agricultural and infrastructure monitoring, as well as disaster response and recovery.

“Congratulations to the Capella Space team in this first step to building out a new constellation to provide important Earth observation data on-demand. Electron is the ideal launch vehicle for missions like this one, where the success of a foundational deployment relies heavily on a high level of control over orbit and schedule,” said Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck.  

“I’m also immensely proud of the team, their hard work, and dedication in returning Electron to the pad safely and quickly as we get back to frequent launches with an even more reliable launch vehicle for our small satellite customers,” he added.

Rocket Lab said it has monthly launches scheduled for the remainder of 2020, including the company’s first attempt to recover an Electron first stage after launch. The first recovery mission is slated for Rocket Lab’s 17th launch, which is planned for the fourth quarter.

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