According to Rocket Lab, a ground sensor reading is the cause for the firm’s delay of their “Love At First Insight” launch of the BlackSky EO smallsats. This halt in the proceedings occurred 90 minutes prior to liftoff. A new launch date of November 16 has been set by the company.
Rocket Lab is targeting no earlier than 4:25 a.m., Thursday, November 11, UTC, for the launch of ‘Love At First Insight’, a dedicated launch for geospatial intelligence company BlackSky — this will be Rocket Lab’s fifth launch of 2021.
The launch will occur from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 Pad A on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula.
A two-hour, ten-minute window, has been allocated for launch. This window shifts slightly earlier each day of the launch window. Below are the launch window opening times…
Launch Window Time Zone Conversion:
- UTC: 04:25 (11 November)
- NZT: 17:25 (11 November)
- ET: 23:25 (10 November)
- PT: 20:25 (10 November)
If there is a need to stand down from launch for any reason, the company has back-up launch days available through November 24.
About The Mission
The ‘Love At First Insight’ mission will be Rocket Lab’s 22nd Electron launch overall and fifth mission of 2021.
Rocket Lab will launch two Earth imaging satellites for BlackSky. The firm combines satellite images with their own software to predict trends and deliver insights to industries including transportation, infrastructure, land use, defense, supply chain management, and humanitarian aid.
While this mission’s primary objective is to deploy the BlackSky satellites, Rocket Lab will also attempt to recover Electron after launch in efforts to make Electron the world’s first, reusable, small rocket. The company will attempt a controlled, ocean splashdown and recovery of Electron’s first stage for the third time (following previously successful ocean recoveries on our 16th and 20th missions).
However with this mission, for the first time, Rocket Lab will station a helicopter in the recovery zone approximately 200 nautical miles offshore to track and visually observe the first stage as it returns to Earth in preparation for future attempts to capture it mid-air with a helicopter. The helicopter will not attempt a mid-air capture for this mission but will test communications and tracking to refine the concept of operations (CONOPS) for future Electron aerial captures.
More information about this mission and the satellites onboard can be found at this direct linfolink…
A live webcast will be available approximately 15-20 minutes prior to the target T-0 time at www.rocketlabusa.com/live-stream.