Rocket Lab will push back the light-class Electron rocket for quite a few weeks to overcome a technical issue that its recent fueling test has not covered.
The Rocket Lab launch team noticed unusual behavior with its motor controller when they performed a wet dress rehearsal. It is a test that is often utilized by most launch providers to practice countdown process as well as verify whether the rocket and ground systems are much ready for future liftoff or not. They announced the launch slip on social media.
Rocket Lab also added in a statement that with the days between rehearsal and window, they want to spend much time to review all gathered data holistically. That is why they have decided to roll the slots in the coming weeks.
Based on the report from the New Zealand Herald, the Rocket Lap had experienced other fueling issues throughout the wet dress rehearsal. The newspaper reported that there were emergency responders on the scene at the launch base of the company situated on the eastern shore of the North Island of New Zealand. However, they did not say whether there were fire services during fueling or launch operations.
The upcoming launch of the Electron Rocket will be its very first commercial flight. The electron launcher of the company had reached the orbit for the first time last January last year. But the mission was not truly successful because of a ground tracking error that resulted in premature launch termination by the safety officials. It followed by a second test flight in May 2017.
The primary objective of the test flight on January 20 was to identify the performance of the rocket. Due to the success of the mission, it led company’s officials to declare that the launcher was ready enough for commercial service shortly.
The third flight of the rocket will deploy CubeSats and planned to use for Spire Global and GeoOptics, a nanosatellite.
The payloads of both satellites will measure the signals of the GPS satellite navigation from the Earth’s atmosphere. The information it will derive will give space people data about the weather and climate. The company’s fourth launch will be employed to launch CubeSats developed by some research institutions in the US with NASA as a sponsor.
The Rocket Lab’s Electron booster can carry approximately 330 pounds to a specific polar orbit that is 310 miles above the Earth.