Rocket Lab is making the final preparations for its first launch since July 5 when a problem during the second-stage burn caused the loss of seven satellites built by three companies.
The mission, called “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical,” will aim to deploy a 100kg-class microsatellite for San Francisco-based Capella Space, an information services company providing Earth observation data on demand.
When is the launch?
If conditions permit, the Electron rocket will lift off from Rocket Lab’s launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 8:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday, August 26 (3:05 p.m. local time on Thursday, August 27). Be sure to check Rocket Lab’s Twitter feed or Facebook page for the very latest information regarding the launch time.
LOx on board as the crew conducts the standard pre-launch dress rehearsal at LC-1 today.
Electron is scheduled for lift-off no earlier than:
UTC: 03:05, 27 Aug
PT: 20:05, 26 Aug
ET: 23:05, 26 Aug
NZT: 15:05, 27 Aug pic.twitter.com/bfn6Cx1kbK
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) August 24, 2020
How to watch:
You can watch the launch via Rocket Lab’s livestream on the company’s website or YouTube channel. The webcast offers not only the best views of the launch, but also useful commentary about the event as it unfolds. The livestream will become available around 15 to 20 minutes before the launch attempt. Rocket Lab says it will post links to the webcast on Twitter and Facebook when the webcast starts.
After July’s loss, which was put down to an “anomalous electrical connection,” space fans are rooting for Rocket Lab with this week’s launch attempt. Last month’s mission failure hit the team hard and prompted Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck to post a personal video message in which he apologized to the customers who had satellites on board. He also expressed his determination to make a swift return to the launchpad.
Oh, and if you’re curious about where the mission name came from, according to Rocket Lab it’s a nod to Capella’s Synthetic’s Aperture Radar technology that provides high quality images of the Earth day or night, and in any weather conditions. So, there you go.