Rocket Lab’s 13th launch ends in failure, after rocket experiences problem mid-flight

Rocket Lab’s 13th mission to space ended in failure on Saturday, after the company’s rocket experienced some sort of problem after launching to space. As a result, Rocket Lab lost its rocket, as well as most of the satellites it carried on board.

The company’s Electron rocket successfully took off at 5:19PM ET from Rocket Lab’s primary launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The launch seemed to proceed just fine for the very first crucial minutes, but about six minutes into the launch, live video from the rocket stalled. At the period, Rocket Lab’s livestream indicated that the rocket started initially to lose speed and drop in altitude.

The company in the course of time cut the livestream. Afterward, Rocket Lab unmasked that the Electron rocket had been lost during flight.

Rocket Lab’s CEO Peter Beck apologized for the failure on Twitter. “I am incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver our customers satellites today,” he tweeted. “Rest assured we will find the issue, correct it and be back on the pad soon.”

The mission, named “Pics Or It Didn’t Happen,” carried mostly Earth-imaging small satellites. The primary payload was Canon Electronics’ CE-SAT-IB, built to demonstrate Earth-imaging technology with high-resolution and wide-angle cameras. The rocket also carried five SuperDove satellites from the company Planet, also built to image Earth from above. The last payload was a small satellite called Faraday-1, from In-Space Missions, which hosted multiple instruments from startups as well as other organizations that needed a ride to space.

Up so far, Rocket Lab has put 53 spacecraft into low Earth orbit so far on 12 split missions, with this particular weekend’s launch the third for Rocket Lab this year.

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