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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Rocket Lab: last mission from New Zealand lost in flight

Take off

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Rocket Lab

Caption of the image

The Electron mission was lost about six minutes after leaving the Mahia peninsula

The American company launch launching its missiles out of New Zealand has lost its last mission.

Rocket Lab has stated that its Electron vehicle failed late in its ascent from the Mahia peninsula on the North Island.

It is assumed that all satellite payload have been destroyed.

These included spacecraft imaging Canon Electronics of Japan and Planet Labs Inc of California, as well as a technology demonstration platform of a British start-up called In-Space Missions.

The CEO of Rocket Lab, Peter Beck, has apologized to its customers.

“I’m incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver the satellites of our customers today. Rest assured that we will find the problem, we will fix it and we will return soon on the pad,” he said on Twitter.

Rocket Lab has seated everyone in the space sector since its Electron vehicle debuted in 2017. It is leading a wave of new equipment that wants to operate compact rockets to serve the emerging small satellite market.

Saturday’s takeoff from New Zealand was the 13th of the Electron output to date. All previous launches had been completely successful, except the first one that failed to reach its intended orbit.

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Missions in space

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Faraday-1 was approximately 10cm x 20cm x 30cm

What went wrong this time is unclear. Video footage showed the engine of the second stage of the rocket that functions normally for six minutes in flight, at an altitude of 192 km and at a speed of 3.8 km / s. The video feed has crashed.

The main payload on board was a Canon Electronics satellite, part of a series that the company is having to reproduce the features on the ground smaller than a meter.

Planet, which operates the largest in-orbit spacecraft network, was attempting to support five of its latest iterations of satellites. Since the San Francisco company manufactures and launches so many spacecraft, it will recover more easily from this failure.

But for the start of the space missions, the electron loss is a big disappointment. Its Faraday-1 platform was to be the showcase of the new service company.

Faraday-1 was a kind of “car pooling” satellite that allowed others to fly into orbit payloads without having to build and finance an entire spacecraft. They just had to rent a “seat” with In-Space.

The European aerospace giant Airbus had even taken a slot in Faraday-1 to test new radio technology. Called Prometheus, this equipment would have to conduct a radio frequency detection, scanning the globe in search of distress and the activities of the military radar.

Borden, Hampshire-based In-Space tweeted, “The In-Space team is absolutely gutted by this news. Two years of hard work by an incredibly committed team of genius engineers in smoking. It was really a cool little spaceship “.

Future missions are already in production.

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AIRBUS

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The Prometheus Radio Airbus would conduct surveys on the radio spectrum

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @BBCAmos

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