Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Rocket Lab Shares Drop After Failed Space Mission

Rocket Lab USA Inc., a small satellite-launch company, witnessed a significant decline in its share value after a failed mission resulted in the loss of its primary Electron rocket and the payloads it was carrying to orbit.

The rocket took off successfully from New Zealand a few minutes before 3 a.m. New York time. However, at two and a half minutes into the flight, the Electron encountered an unspecified issue, leading to the termination of the mission. This marks the third major in-flight failure for an Electron rocket carrying payloads for customers.

Rocket Lab has stated that it will delay its next mission as its engineers investigate the incident and implement corrective measures. The company plans to provide a revised revenue forecast for the third quarter in the coming days.

In response to the news, Rocket Lab’s shares fell by 22% before the opening of markets in New York. The company had a market value of $2.4 billion as of the previous day’s close, with a 34% increase in value this year.

Among the payloads lost was one of Capella Space’s Acadia satellites, which utilize specialized technology for Earth imaging. Despite this setback, the Electron has successfully completed 37 orbital and suborbital launches to space.

During the live video stream of the launch, the Electron initially appeared to separate successfully as planned. However, the footage froze, and an announcer announced that an anomaly had occurred.

It remains to be seen how Rocket Lab will recover from this failed mission and regain investor confidence in its capabilities.