Rocket Lab Loses Payload After Mission Fails to Reach Orbit
After a perfect lift-off from the rocket lab’s launch site in Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand on Sunday, 5 July, its electron rocket’s payload failed to reach orbit after several minutes of anomaly in flight during the second phase of the vehicle’s burn. Stayed.
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck described the mission’s failure as a “difficult day” for the team, and apologized to Spaceflight, Canon Electronics, Planet and In-Space Missions for failing to receive their satellites – Seven in all – in class.
We flew late in the mission. I am very sorry that we failed to deliver satellites to our customers today. Rest assured we’ll find the issue, fix it and get back on the pad soon.
– Peter Beck (@Peter_J_Beck) July 4, 2020
The exact issue is yet to be established, although Rocket Lab said it happened during the electron’s second stage burn. More information will be provided as it becomes available, the company said.
A live video feed from the electron rocket freezes for about 5 minutes and 45 seconds in flight, and about 45 seconds later a launch operative chants the ominous phrase: “the beginning of an incorrect feedback response”.
“Today’s discrepancy is a reminder that space launch may be inefficient,” it said in a release on its website on Sunday. “The launch team operated with professionalism and expertise to implement systems and processes that safely manage the discrepancy.”
The CEO said that Rocket Lab engineers are now examining the data of the failed mission to “learn from today and prepare for our next mission”.
Sunday’s mission, called “Pics or It Did Regard Happen”, was originally scheduled to launch the day before, but poor weather conditions forced delays.
Rocket Lab was recently enjoying an impressive run of successful missions as it attempts to make an impact in the likes of SpaceX as well as the small satellite launch area.