The second test launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket from the company’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand, is scheduled to take place during a 10-day launch window opening on Friday, December 8, 2017.
The test, named ‘Still Testing’, follows the successful inaugural Electron test carried out on May 25, 2017, and is the second of three launches planned ahead of commercial operations. However, the commercial phase may be accelerated depending on how the rocket performs.
Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, commented that the test is an important next step in making space 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 analyzed 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.”
A live video stream will be available approximately 12 minutes prior to a launch attempt at www.rocketlabusa.com. This will be the first Rocket Lab launch to be live-streamed to the public.
Still Testing will carry an Earth-imaging Dove satellite from Planet and two Lemur-2 satellites from Spire for weather and ship tracking, enabling Rocket Lab to gather crucial data and test systems for the deployment stage of a mission.
November 30, 2017