January 21, 2021
How to see Rocket Lab launch Earth-watching satellites into orbit

How to see Rocket Lab launch Earth-watching satellites into orbit


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An Electron rocket in flight.


Rocket Lab

SpaceX has postponed its latest Starlink launch, but Rocket Lab is hoping to blast off soon, and you can watch the mission right here. 

The space startup plans to send 10 small satellites to low-Earth orbit atop one of its Electron rockets, which was scheduled to liftoff from the company’s New Zealand launch facility Wednesday, but the mission was postponed at the last minute.

“We’re standing down from today’s attempt. Some sensors are returning data that we want to look into further. We have back up opportunities until Nov. 3,” the company wrote on Twitter. 

Rocket Lab’s boosters are smaller and designed for lighter payloads than SpaceX and other competitors. This mission, dubbed In Focus, will loft nine new SuperDove satellites for Planet, which operates the largest constellation of Earth-imaging satellites at the moment.

Also on board as part of a ride-share agreement will be a demonstration CubeSat from Canon that is equipped with a medium-size telescope and ultra-high sensitivity camera to capture images of the Earth and moon. 

Rocket Lab has plans to begin recovering its rockets in the future using a daring helicopter maneuver, but we won’t be seeing anything like that with this mission. The Electron rocket will be expended and fall into the Pacific Ocean. 

It should still make for a launch worth watching, however. Once we have a new launch date, we’ll share it here. 


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