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Itron

Innovation Central

Automation & Electronics

Rocket Lab announces second test launch window

Posted 30/11/2017

Rocket Lab, a US aerospace company with operations in New Zealand, will open a ten-day launch window from Friday December 8, 2017 to carry out the company's second test launch of the Electron rocket. During this time, a four-hour launch window will open daily from 2:30 p.m. NZT.

Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula.Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula.

 

The test launch, titled 'Still Testing', will take place from Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand. It follows on from the successful inaugural Electron test carried out on May 25, 2017.

Still Testing will be the first Rocket Lab launch to be live streamed to the public. A live video stream will be available approximately 15 minutes prior to a launch attempt at www.rocketlab.co.nz

The test launch attempt will only proceed if conditions are ideal for launch. Due to the nature of launching rockets, planned lift-offs are often subject to multiple and subsequent postponements, or scrubs, to allow for small, technical modifications and to wait for ideal weather conditions.

Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, says the test is an important next step in making space more accessible and the team will be focusing on gathering more data to inform future launches.

"Electron's first test made history when it became the first orbital-class launch vehicle to reach space from a private launch facility. We analysed more than 25,000 channels of data from flight one, and we're eager to learn more from this test flight. This is the first test carrying customer payloads and we'll be monitoring everything closely as we attempt to reach orbit," he says.

"Once again, we're expecting to scrub multiple times as we wait for perfect conditions and make sure everything on the vehicle is performing as it should."

As part of the launch attempt, Māhia East Coast Road will be closed to the public at certain times. Full details of road closures can be found on the Rocket Lab website at www.rocketlabusa.com/launch/launch-updates

Safety is of utmost concern to Rocket Lab and the public are asked to follow the instructions of emergency services and remain in specified safety zones during the test launch.

Still Testing is the second of three test launches planned from Launch Complex 1 ahead of commercial operations, however if the vehicle performs nominally throughout the second test the commercial phase may be accelerated.

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.

Rocket Lab thanks the Māhia community for its hospitality, and is grateful for the support of staff and volunteers from police, fire service, the volunteer fire brigade, St John's, the harbour master, Wairoa District Council, Hawke's Bay Regional Council, MBIE, LINZ, DPMC, Maritime NZ, RCCNZ, CAA and Airways NZ.

For real time updates, follow Rocket Lab on Twitter @RocketLab

 

About Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab's mission is to revolutionize the way we access space by developing and launching advanced rockets to put small payloads into orbit frequently and at a fraction of the cost of cumbersome traditional launch services.

On May 25 2017, Electron made history as the first orbital-class launch vehicle to reach space from a private launch facility. It marked a significant milestone in eliminating commercial barriers and ushering in a new era of unprecedented access to space.

Founded in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab is headquartered in Los Angeles with operations and a launch site in New Zealand. It is a privately funded company with investors including Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC (Data Collective), Lockheed Martin and Promus Ventures.

 

About Launch Complex 1

Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 is located on the tip of the Māhia Peninsula, between Napier and Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The complex is the first orbital launch site in New Zealand, and the first privately operated orbital launch site globally.

The remote location of Launch Complex 1, particularly its low volume of air and marine traffic, is a key factor in enabling unprecedented access to space. The geographic position of the site means it is possible to access a large range of orbital azimuths – satellites launched from Māhia can be delivered to a wide range of inclinations to provide services across many areas around the world.

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