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.
Rocket Lab’s Electron booster launched six small satellites and a drag sail demonstrator to orbit Sunday from New Zealand, a success on the company’s first commercial mission that officials said should pave the way for a launch carrying NASA CubeSats next month and up to 16 flights of the light-class rocket next year.
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 called off a launch attempt Tuesday, U.S. time, in New Zealand after encountering a technical problem during the countdown for the company’s first commercial satellite launch. Tuesday’s countdown came after a four-day delay to resolve problems with a downrange tracking station and wait for improved weather.