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Summary (IA Generated)
Rocket Lab’s 13th mission ended in failure on Saturday, after the company’s rocket experienced some kind of problem after launching to space.
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.
Afterward, the company revealed that the Electron rocket had been lost during flight.
An issue was experienced today during Rocket Lab’s launch that caused the loss of the vehicle.
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) July 4, 2020 Rocket Lab’s CEO Peter Beck apologized for the failure on Twitter.
The mission, named “Pics Or It Didn’t Happen,” carried mostly Earth-imaging small satellites.
The rocket also carried five SuperDove satellites from the company Planet, designed to image Earth from above.
Since its inception, Rocket Lab has put 53 spacecraft into low Earth orbit on 12 separate missions, with this weekend’s launch the third for Rocket Lab this year.
Rocket Lab’s very first flight in 2017, called “It’s a Test,” was the only flight that didn’t operate according to plan; the rocket successfully launched and made it to space, but didn’t reach orbit.
All of Rocket Lab’s other missions have been picture perfect since then, making today’s flight the first major failure for the company.