Rocket Lab scrubbed a launch attempt late Wednesday (U.S. time) that was set to carry 13 CubeSats to orbit for NASA aboard an Electron rocket. Poor weather at the company’s launch base in New Zealand forced the postponement, and Rocket Lab plans to try again Saturday night (U.S. time) with a window opening at 11 p.m. EST (0400 GMT Sunday).
Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket is set to launch 10 CubeSats developed at NASA field centers and U.S. research institutions Wednesday night (U.S. time) from the company’s privately-owned spaceport in New Zealand, a pathfinder mission that could pave the way for more NASA satellites to hitch a ride on future Electron flights.
India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle lifted off Thursday and deployed in orbit a hyperspectral Earth-imaging satellite designed to assess vegetation, soil conditions and pollution in rich detail, then maneuvered to a lower altitude to release 30 more smallsats, including reinforcements for Planet and Spire’s commercial Earth-observing constellations.
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo carrier climbed into orbit Saturday from Wallops Island, Virginia, in pursuit of the International Space Station with more than 7,200 pounds of research hardware and provisions, the second supply ship launch to the space station in less than 24 hours.