Rocket Lab suffered a launch error on Sunday July 5th, which resulted in the loss of the Electron rocket and payload minutes after launching from the New Zealand Mahia Peninsula.
The problem that ended the mission occurred a few minutes after the start of the flight during the combustion in the second phase of the vehicle and resulted in the loss of seven satellites on a rideshare involving three companies.
After the incident, Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, released a personal video message (below) apologizing for the failed start while expressing his team's determination to find out what went wrong so that it would fly again soon can.
A short explanation from our founder and CEO Peter Beck about today's mission. pic.twitter.com/QUShtzp7J0
– Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) July 5, 2020
"It's fair to say that today was a pretty tough day," Beck said in his speech.
“Our customers are very sorry that these payloads have been lost. Believe me, we feel and share your disappointment. However, we will leave no stone unturned to find out exactly what happened today so that we can learn from it and safely return to the pad. "
Beck pointed out that with 12 consecutive launches, the Electron is now one of the most frequently launched rockets in the world, but added: “Today's edition was a reminder that space travel can be very unforgiving. It is certainly a day that we never wanted to experience. "
The CEO also noted that no person or property was at risk at any time and that the missile was on a safe reentry course.
Beck founded Rocket Lab in 2006 as a small satellite starter for companies looking for access to space. So far, 53 satellites have been deployed over 12 launches. SpaceX is also in the same market and has recently launched its Smallsat rideshare program for small satellite deployment.
Rocket Lab customers
Spaceflight, a Seattle-based company that worked with Rocket Lab to deploy a Canon Electronics satellite on Sunday's mission, said it was disappointed but "was always aware that launch errors were part of the space business." He added, "We trust in all of our launchers, including Electron, and look forward to many more successful launches with them."
The British startup In-Space Missions, which also had a satellite on board the missile, said it was "absolutely disappointed" with the mission's failure, even though Doug Liddle, its CEO and founder, insisted that his team "believe in it unfortunate accident is not deterred ". ”
The San Francisco-based planet, which has lost five satellites aboard the Electron, said it "has complete confidence that Rocket Lab will be able to jump back from today's outage in no time, and we look forward to flying again on the Electron . "
Beck concluded his video message saying that his team is now "combing the data to learn and prepare for the next mission". He added: "We have many Electron launchers in production and are ready for a quick return to flight as soon as these investigations are completed and of course all the correct measures have been taken."