New Zealand-founded company Rocket Lab has lost a rocket during its latest launch off the Mahia Peninsula on the East Coast this morning.
Seven satellites from Japan, the US and the UK lifted off around 9.20am - a day earlier than planned because of bad weather due later this week.
However, Rocket Lab said a problem occurred late in the flight during the second stage burn and the Electron rocket was lost.
We lost the flight late into the mission. I am incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver our customers satellites today. Rest assured we will find the issue, correct it and be back on the pad soon.— Peter Beck (@Peter_J_Beck) July 4, 2020
It's apologising to customers that had satellites on board Electron.
The launch included a 67-kilogramme earth-imaging satellite for Canon Electronics to photograph objects on the ground as small as 90 centimetres wide.
It also included five shoebox-sized Earth observation satellites, for the San Francisco company Planet, which already has a fleet 120 of them.
An issue was experienced today during Rocket Lab's launch that caused the loss of the vehicle. We are deeply sorry to the customers on board Electron. The issue occurred late in the flight during the 2nd stage burn. More information will be provided as it becomes available.— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) July 4, 2020
Here’s the moment the video feed from Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle ended & live telemetry appeared to show the rocket stopped accelerating.— Spaceflight Now (@SpaceflightNow) July 4, 2020
The data feed showed the rocket reached a peak altitude of 194.8 kilometers before falling back to Earth.https://t.co/GMLbgXLtm5 pic.twitter.com/mCydc8XJzI