Rocket Lab Expects Electron Rocket To Resume Flights Soon


Rocket Lab, the aerospace manufacturer, announced on Wednesday that its Electron rocket is expected to return to flight before the end of the year. While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authorized Rocket Lab to resume launches from its New Zealand launch complex, the company is still conducting an investigation into the anomaly that caused a mission failure in September.

Key Takeaway

Rocket Lab plans to resume Electron rocket launches after completing a detailed review and implementing necessary corrective measures following a mission failure in September.

Rocket Lab is currently finalizing a thorough review to determine the root cause of the anomaly. The investigation involves an extensive fault tree analysis to consider all potential causes and a comprehensive test campaign to recreate the issue on the ground. This meticulous process aims to ensure that the problem is fully identified and resolved before future missions are carried out.

As part of standard procedure, Rocket Lab is undertaking a company-led mishap investigation, overseen and approved by the FAA. The review is expected to be completed within the next few weeks, but Rocket Lab has not provided any details on the specific cause of the failure in September.

The incident occurred during Rocket Lab’s 41st Electron launch, resulting in the loss of a synthetic aperture radar satellite from Capella Space. The failure happened approximately two-and-a-half minutes into the flight, after the ignition of the second stage’s single Rutherford engine. Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck expressed confidence that the cause of the anomaly is likely to be complex and unique, given the extensive testing and flight history of the Electron rocket.

Before the mission failure, Rocket Lab had successfully completed 20 consecutive orbital launches. The company remains committed to identifying and rectifying the issue to ensure the reliability and safety of future Electron missions.

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