Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Rocket Lab Mission Ends in Anomaly During Launch of Capella Space Satellite

A Rocket Lab mission to launch Capella Space’s next-generation radar satellite, known as Acadia, experienced an “anomaly” during its flight, resulting in the end of the mission. The issue occurred during the stage separation of the Electron rocket, around 2 minutes and 38 seconds after liftoff.

No explanation was given during the live telecast of the launch, but Rocket Lab stated in a tweet that the launch director had called an anomaly. Further information was promised to be provided as it became available.

The launch of Capella Space’s synthetic aperture radar Earth-imaging satellite was scheduled for Tuesday evening from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. However, a hold was put in place with less than 8 minutes remaining on the countdown. After a brief delay of about 15 minutes, the countdown resumed and the rocket launched towards low-Earth orbit with its payload.

Approximately 90 seconds later, stage separation occurred, and the mission was called off. The mission, named “We Will Never Desert You,” aimed to add another next-generation SAR Earth-imaging satellite to Capella Space’s constellation. Capella Space’s satellites are capable of capturing high-resolution SAR imagery in all weather conditions, providing clear imagery anywhere on Earth.

This launch was part of a four-mission contract between Capella Space and Rocket Lab. It was intended to be the second launch under this agreement and Rocket Lab’s ninth launch of the year.