Rocket Lab launched two satellites into orbit on Wednesday night (December 8).
ONE Rocket Lab The electron launch carrying two commercial Earth observation spacecraft lifted off from the company’s site in New Zealand at 7:02 p.m. EST (1:02 p.m. New Zealand time on December 9). or 0002 December 9 GMT).
Rocket Lab’s communications consultant Murielle Baker said: “And we’re leaving! .
The mission, which Rocket Lab calls “A Data With Destiny,” delivered the 11th and 12th “Gen-2” satellites to a constellation operated by the BlackSky company.
“BlackSky combines high-resolution images captured by constellations of microsatellites with its proprietary Spectra AI software platform to provide analytics and insights to government and industry customers. including transportation, infrastructure, land use and supply chain management,” Rocket Lab wrote in a press release. kits that you can find here.
If all goes to plan, the two BlackSky satellites will be deployed about 270 miles (430 km) from Earth within an hour of takeoff.
“A Data With Destiny” is Rocket Lab’s Friday Electronic launches in 2021 and is the 23rd for the 59-foot (18-meter) rocket, sending small satellites into space.
The most recent Electron mission, launched on November 17, also acquired two BlackSky Gen-2 satellites. During that successful flight, the Rocket Laboratory first stage recovery of Electron, went down in a controlled, parachute-assisted fall in the Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff.
The restoration work is part of Rocket Lab’s mission to make Electron’s first stage reusable, a modification the company says will increase launch rates and save it and its customers money. . The ultimate reuse plan requires a helicopter Grab the boosters that fall from the skyand Rocket Lab have taken a big step toward that goal with their November 17 launch, using helicopters to track the descent and practice communications that will be used in the effort. fishing force.
A Rocket Lab rep said there will be no recovery efforts during “A Data With Destiny”.
“A Data With Destiny” is the third takeoff Rocket Lab has taken under a multi-launch deal it signed with BlackSky earlier this year. The first contract mission, launched on May 15, failed to put two Gen-2 satellites into orbit; Electron experienced an unusual malfunction in its upper stage engine ignition system and both spacecraft were lost (although the booster’s first stage performed a minor drop as planned and were recovered). ).
The November 17 mission, called “Love at First Sight”, successfully placed two satellites into the desired orbit.
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there“(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow them on Twitter @Spacedotcom or above Facebook.
https://www.space.com/rocket-lab-blacksky-satellites-launch-success-december-2021 Rocket Lab launches two Earth observation satellites for BlackSky Global