Problems with a downrange tracking station kept Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher on the ground in New Zealand Friday, U.S. time, and the company ordered a two-day delay to resolve the issues and wait for improved weather. Rocket Lab pushed back the launch again to Tuesday because of unfavorable weather.
Rocket Lab’s first commercial flight of its privately-developed Electron satellite booster was planned Friday, U.S. time, from the company’s launch base in New Zealand, carrying a suite of satellites for U.S. and German companies and educational institutions. But problems with a downrange ground station forced officials to scrub the launch, and Rocket Lab has decided to wait for improved weather. Liftoff is set for no earlier than 8:30 p.m. EDT Tuesday (0030 GMT Wednesday).
Engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center tasked with overseeing launches of scientific satellites and interplanetary probes will be responsible later this year for ensuring six major missions safely get into space over a span of a little more than six months, beginning with the launch of NOAA’s new GOES-S weather observatory on an Atlas 5 rocket March 1.