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Rocket Lab has announced they have successfully achieved reached space, but failed to achieve orbit!

According to their official press release, the flight was successful but they failed to achieve orbit.

“It was a great flight. We had a great first stage burn, stage separation, second stage ignition and fairing separation. We didn’t quite reach orbit and we’ll be investigating why, however reaching space in our first test puts us in an incredibly strong position to accelerate the commercial phase of our programme, deliver our customers to orbit and make space open for business,”

--- founder and chief executive Peter Beck.

#ItsaTest: It's important to remember that this flight was the first in a test programme, designed to evaluate and perfect the Electron rocket. So many complex systems need to operate flawlessly in sequence to achieve orbit and deliver a payload.

The team and community at KiwiSpace convey our congratulations to @RocketLabUSA -- job well done!

More Videos:

View from the rocket

Launch-Pad: Medium-angle

Wide-angle view and tracking antennae

View from the base of the launch pad

Launch-Pad: Close-angle

Second Stage View

Wed 24 May – Rocket Lab's second launch attempt was aborted due to unfavourable weather conditions, just 12 minutes prior to launch.

Rocket Lab is counting down to the first orbital launch of their Electron rocket - the inaugural mission known as "It's A Test"  #ItsaTest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I view the launch from?

Unfortunately Rocket Lab is not allowing the public to view this first launch, and has implemented road and sea closures in the area surrounding the launch pad.

Wairoa District Council is considering a viewing site at Nuhaka, about 20km from the launch site - but it is not known when this will be ready.

Is there a webcast?

Rocket Lab is not providing a live webcast, but have indicated they will publish photos and video if successful.

If we become aware of a third-party broadcast we will publish here.

What is Triboelectrification?

Triboelectrification was a common reason for launches being scrubbed overseas:

"If the cloud is below -10C there's a possibility of ice particles and if we travel through that cloud at greater than 3000 feet per second then we can generate a static charge and that's enough to cause damage to the electronics of the vehicle."

Current Launch Target

Date: Thu 24 May
Time: 16:40pm
Status: LAUNCH SUCCESSFUL. Orbit not achieved.

Latest Updates

Wed 24 May: Launch postponed again due to risk off triboelectrification.

  • Wairoa District Council was running a Facebook Live video stream today - it was quite shaky, but awesome to have a realtime view of what's happening. We'll publish again tomorrow if we can.

Tue 23 May: Launch postponed for the day due to risk of triboelectrification. Will try again tomorrow.

Mon 22 May: NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) has been re-issued for Tuesday 12:30pm - 5:30pm.

Sun 21 May: Launch has been delayed by one day, due to high winds at the launch site.

Latest Twitter updates:

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