EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated for new launch attempt Jan. 20.
Rocket Lab’s light-class Electron launcher is set to take off on its second orbital test flight from New Zealand, aiming to deliver three small shoebox-sized CubeSats into low Earth orbit for Planet and Spire.
The two-stage, 55-foot-tall (17-meter) rocket could take off as soon as 8:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 20 (0130 GMT on Jan. 21) from Rocket Lab’s commercial launch complex on Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island.
The privately-developed Electron launcher is making its second flight after its maiden flight in May reached space, but faltered before reaching orbit. While the second flight is still considered a test — Rocket Lab has christened the mission “Still Testing” — three CubeSats are on-board from California-based companies Planet and Spire.
The timeline posted below is accompanied by animation provided by Rocket Lab that illustrates the approximate appearance of the major flight events.
A multipurpose communications satellite owned by a South Korean telecom company is set for liftoff Monday from Florida’s Space Coast aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 booster, and forecasters predict near-ideal conditions for a rocket launch.
NASA has added extra safeguards to the agency’s standard pre-launch quarantine protocol to protect astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley from the coronavirus and other contagions in the final two weeks before their scheduled May 27 launch on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.
A commercial Dragon supply freighter built and owned by SpaceX rocketed into a clear blue sky over Florida’s Space Coast Thursday with a menagerie of research experiments and holiday surprises heading for the International Space Station.