Last-second halt to launch

The electron rocket moments before the launch was cancelled. Picture supplied

ROCKET Lab’s Mahia-based second electron test rocket launch was aborted two seconds from lift-off yesterday afternoon.

The 17-metre rocket was due to launch at 4.50pm from Mahia Peninsula and had a 15-minute live countdown, with thousands of people watching from around the world.

The flight would have been carrying earth-imaging satellites for US companies Planet Labs and Spire Global, which might also have capability for weather and ship-tracking.

When countdown reached two seconds and ignition appeared successful, it was aborted.

The reason why was unclear.

After a few minutes of reviewing data, an announcer declared the launch had been “scrubbed” for the day. Another launch date window would come in due time, he said.

The company opened the 10-day launching window on Friday.

It is the second of three test flights.

The inaugural Rocket Lab launch in May reached space but did not make it into orbit because of a communication fault.

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket is designed to send into space small payloads, such as satellites weighing up to 150kg.

ROCKET Lab’s Mahia-based second electron test rocket launch was aborted two seconds from lift-off yesterday afternoon.

The 17-metre rocket was due to launch at 4.50pm from Mahia Peninsula and had a 15-minute live countdown, with thousands of people watching from around the world.

The flight would have been carrying earth-imaging satellites for US companies Planet Labs and Spire Global, which might also have capability for weather and ship-tracking.

When countdown reached two seconds and ignition appeared successful, it was aborted.

The reason why was unclear.

After a few minutes of reviewing data, an announcer declared the launch had been “scrubbed” for the day. Another launch date window would come in due time, he said.

The company opened the 10-day launching window on Friday.

It is the second of three test flights.

The inaugural Rocket Lab launch in May reached space but did not make it into orbit because of a communication fault.

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket is designed to send into space small payloads, such as satellites weighing up to 150kg.

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