EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated June 28 to reflect new target launch date.
Rocket Lab’s light-class Electron launcher is set to take off on its seventh flight from New Zealand, aiming for a 280-mile-high (450-kilometer) orbit with seven small satellites for commercial customers, the U.S. military and university students.
The two-stage, 55-foot-tall (17-meter) rocket is scheduled for liftoff during a two-hour window opening at 12:30 a.m. EDT (0430 GMT) Saturday from Rocket Lab’s commercial launch complex on Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand’s North Island.
The launch window opens at 4:30 p.m. local time in New Zealand, less than a half-hour before sunset.
The privately-developed Electron launcher is making its seventh flight after its inaugural mission in May 2017 reached space, but faltered before reaching orbit, followed by six successful missions in a row that have deployed 28 satellites into low Earth orbit.
Read our mission preview story for details on the launch, which was arranged by Rocket Lab with Spaceflight, a Seattle-based company that brokers rideshare launch opportunities for smallsats.
Rocket Lab calls this mission “Make it Rain,” reflecting the wet climate at Spaceflight’s Seattle headquarters.
The timeline posted below is accompanied by animation provided by Rocket Lab that illustrates the approximate appearance of the major flight events.