The rocket lab’s 30th Electron rocket launched a radar satellite into Earth orbit on Thursday (Sept. 15).
The counter electronic The booster lifted off from the rocket lab’s New Zealand base on the North Island’s Mahia Peninsula at 4:38 p.m. EDT (2038 GMT, or 8:38 a.m. local time Friday, Sept. 16) on Thursday.
A live broadcast from the Strix-1 satellite on behalf of Synspective showed the launch rocket flying into the blue sky. Since the release window was immediate, everything had to go well to allow the task to proceed.
Jupiter’s mission is called “The Owl Spreads Its Wings,” a nod to the Strix-1 payload. (Strix is a diverse and widespread genus of owls.)
“Strix-1 is the first commercial satellite for its Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite system, which can detect millimeter-scale changes in Earth’s surface from space, Earth’s weather, and any time of day or night,” Rocket Lab officials said. wrote in a job description (opens in new tab).
Rocketry officials framed the launch as a milestone mission: Thursday will be the rocketry’s 30th Electron launch, its 150th satellite into space and its 300th Rutherford engine launch.
Flight follows the success of the rocket laboratory NASA’s Capstone spacecraft was sent to the moon. In addition, the company aims to send one or more Life hunting missions to Venus In the coming years.
Rocket Lab plans to make the Electron’s first stage fully reusable, and has successfully fired (and inadvertently sunk into the ocean) a recovered booster. On May 2 with a helicopterDuring the mission “There and Back Again”.
The company did not attempt to recover in Thursday’s release, however, as the electron’s first stage fell naturally into the drink after a mechanical cut.
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