Tue. Sep 26th, 2023
Rocket Lab’s 41st Mission Ends in Failure

Rocket Lab’s 41st mission, named “We Will Never Desert You,” ended in failure when its Electron rocket experienced an unspecified anomaly two and a half minutes after launch. The two-stage launch vehicle took off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying a radar imaging satellite by Capella Space. The rocket cleared Max-Q, performed a first stage burn and stage separation, but encountered an issue shortly after. Rocket Lab is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration and other supporting agencies to investigate the cause of the anomaly.

This marks the third mission failure for the Electron rocket and fourth launch failure overall. Previous failures include an engine failure in July 2020 and an upper-stage engine shutdown in May 2021. Despite these setbacks, the Electron rocket has had 37 successful launches.

Rocket Lab had recently been experiencing success, including a mission in July where seven satellites were launched and the booster was recovered through a parachute-assisted ocean splashdown to test reusability. However, following the latest mission failure, Rocket Lab’s stock dropped by 20% in premarket trading. The company’s next mission, originally scheduled for the third quarter of this year, has been postponed as corrective actions are implemented.

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