Rocket Lab’s ‘business time’ launch delayed

Weather conditions and technical issues with a rocket motor have resulted in Rocket Lab delaying the launch of its first commercial venture aimed at putting private satellites into orbit.

A statement from the United States-owned company confirmed it would move the launch, which was scheduled for between April 20 and May 3, to the next available launch window in coming weeks.

The shift comes after the pad team identified some unusual motor-controller behaviour during a wet dress rehearsal this week.

“With just days between rehearsal and window opening, the call to move the window is a conservative one made to allow the team additional time to review data,” the company said.

“Rocket Lab is able to operate with schedule flexibility and move into different windows as a result of operating its own private orbital launch site. “The new launch window is due to open in the coming weeks with defined dates to be confirmed soon.”

Emergency services attended the launch complex as a matter of course on Tuesday, once the issue with the motor was noticed.

However, a company spokeswoman pointed out that while the issue occurred during fuelling, it was not a fuel issue.

The company’s commercial mission, which it has named It’s Business Time, includes manifested payloads for launch customers Spire Global and GeoOptics Inc, built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.

It follows two previous test rocket launches from its launch complex at Onenui Station at Mahia.

Rocket Lab is the only small launch provider to have reached orbit and recently announced it had scaled production of its Electron launch vehicle across its production facility in Huntington Beach, California.

The company, founded by New Zealander Peter Beck, intends to produce 100 3D-printed Rutherford engines this year to support a monthly launch cadence from its Mahia launch complex by the end of the year.

— Hawke’s Bay Today

Weather conditions and technical issues with a rocket motor have resulted in Rocket Lab delaying the launch of its first commercial venture aimed at putting private satellites into orbit.

A statement from the United States-owned company confirmed it would move the launch, which was scheduled for between April 20 and May 3, to the next available launch window in coming weeks.

The shift comes after the pad team identified some unusual motor-controller behaviour during a wet dress rehearsal this week.

“With just days between rehearsal and window opening, the call to move the window is a conservative one made to allow the team additional time to review data,” the company said.

“Rocket Lab is able to operate with schedule flexibility and move into different windows as a result of operating its own private orbital launch site. “The new launch window is due to open in the coming weeks with defined dates to be confirmed soon.”

Emergency services attended the launch complex as a matter of course on Tuesday, once the issue with the motor was noticed.

However, a company spokeswoman pointed out that while the issue occurred during fuelling, it was not a fuel issue.

The company’s commercial mission, which it has named It’s Business Time, includes manifested payloads for launch customers Spire Global and GeoOptics Inc, built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.

It follows two previous test rocket launches from its launch complex at Onenui Station at Mahia.

Rocket Lab is the only small launch provider to have reached orbit and recently announced it had scaled production of its Electron launch vehicle across its production facility in Huntington Beach, California.

The company, founded by New Zealander Peter Beck, intends to produce 100 3D-printed Rutherford engines this year to support a monthly launch cadence from its Mahia launch complex by the end of the year.

— Hawke’s Bay Today

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