Rocket Lab is preparing final preparations for its first launch since July 5, when a problem during phase two burn resulted in the loss of seven satellites built by three companies.
The mission, titled "I Can't Believe It's Not Optical," aims to deploy a 100kg class microsatellite to Capella Space in San Francisco, an information services company that provides earth observation data when needed.
When is the start?
The launch of the Electron rocket is now scheduled to take place on Sunday, August 30th, at 8:05 p.m. from the launch site of the Rocket Lab on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula. PT (3:05 p.m. local time on Monday, August 31).
The start was originally planned for 8:05 p.m. PT on Saturday, August 29th (3:05 pm local time on Sunday, August 30th), but had to be postponed by 24 hours due to ground wind. Two earlier launch plans had already been postponed, also due to poor weather conditions.
Make sure to check the Rocket Lab Twitter feed or Facebook page for the latest information on launch time.
Start update: The surface wind at LC-1 will remain strong tomorrow, so we are now targeting the #ICantBelieveItsNotOptical mission on August 31st UTC at the earliest. ???????? ️
Mission info https://t.co/zI36drt64x
ET: 11:05 pm, August 30th
PT: 8:05 pm, August 30th
NZT: 15:05, August 31 pic.twitter.com/2RRwpxhDSl
– Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) August 28, 2020
How to watch
You can follow the launch via the Rocket Lab livestream on the company's website or on the YouTube channel. Not only does the webcast provide the best views of the start, it also offers useful commentary on the event as it went. The live stream will be available approximately 15-20 minutes before the attempt to start. Rocket Lab says it will post links to the webcast on Twitter and Facebook when the webcast starts.
After the loss in July due to an "abnormal electrical connection," space fans are making their way to the Rocket Lab with this week's launch attempt. Last month's mission failure hit the team hard and prompted Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck to post a personal video message apologizing to customers who had satellites on board. He also expressed his determination to get back to the Launchpad quickly.
Oh, and if you're curious about where the mission name came from, according to Rocket Lab, this is a nod to Capella Synthetic's Aperture Radar technology, which provides high quality images of the Earth day and night, whatever the weather.
Update August 29th: Added information about startup delay.