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Rocket Lab launched 10 small imaging satellites



Washington — Rocket Lab’s electronic rocket successfully put 10 satellites into orbit, and two customers lost their payloads due to failed launches earlier this year.

At 5:21 pm Eastern time on October 28, the Electron rocket lifted off from the company’s launch site on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. About an hour later, the recoil phase of the rocket deployed its 10-satellite payload to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

The main payload of this launch is called “Focus” by Rocket Lab and is a set of planets composed of nine SuperDove cube satellites, thus enhancing the company’s imaging satellite group. The other payload is CE-SAT-2B, which is an imaging microsatellite developed by Canon Electronics for technical demonstration of future satellites. Its flight is arranged by the launch service company Spaceflight.

Both Planet and Canon had payloads during the rocket laboratory’s electron launch failure in July, and the rocket also carried satellites from the British company In-Space Missions. Rocket Lab blamed it on the failure of an “abnormal electrical connection”

; on the upper part of the rocket, which had passed quality control inspections. The company launched a synthetic aperture radar satellite for Capella Space on August 30, allowing Electron to fly again.

Rocket Lab CEO Peter Baker said in a post-launch statement: “Electronics once again provides our ride-sharing customers with smooth orbital flight and precise deployment.”

The launch was the 15th flight of the “Electronics”. Rocket Lab said in a statement that the next electron launch will take place from New Zealand “in the next few weeks.” The company is also waiting for electron launches on its new launch site 2 on Wallops Island, Virginia, but has not yet disclosed the launch date.

Like other rockets at the US Headquarters Rocket Laboratory, the launch was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. In a panel discussion at the American Astronautical Society’s Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium on October 27, FAA Deputy Director of Commercial Space Transportation Wayne Monteith pointed out that the launch of the Rocket Lab will set a record for the most FAA-licensed launches. Six o’clock a month. Other launches in October include three SpaceX Falcon 9 launches, Northrop Grumman Antares (Northrop Grumman Antares) launch and Blue Origin’s suborbital launch by New Shepard.

Only two months ago, it set a record of five authorized launches in one month. There were also three Falcon 9 launches and one Electron launch in August, as well as a “jump” test of the SpaceX Starship prototype under FAA license.

Montes believes that both records indicate a surge in commercial launch activity. He said: “Compared with fiscal years 09, 10, 11, or 12, we have licensed more launches in the FAA this fiscal year.” The fiscal year began on October 1.


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