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Main » Electron countdown aborted at engine start, next launch attempt Wednesday

Electron countdown aborted at engine start, next launch attempt Wednesday

12 December 2017

There is still a 10-day launch window outlined by the company which started December 8, to successfully launch the Electron rocket.

Aerospace startup company Rocket Lab will make another attempt to launch its Electron rocket tonight.

The launch will be streamed live on Rocket Lab's website.

In May, the New Zealand-founded company's first test rocket made it to space but the mission was terminated before it reached orbit because of a communication glitch. The Rutherford engines, developed in-house by Rocket Lab and named for the New Zealand-born nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford, each produce almost 4,000 pounds of thrust at sea level and use battery-powered electric pumps, replacing heavier gas-powered turbopumps used on other rocket engines.

The rocket company first attempt at lift-off today didn't quite go as planned. The two Lemur-2 satellites can map weather and track ships.

The company was originally supposed to send Electron to space last week, but delays continue to push back the launch.

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Today's test launch cancellation was reported by Rocket Lab as taking effect 0.02 seconds from lift off.

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket launch was aborted moments after engine ignition.

"We're expecting to scrub multiple times as we wait for ideal conditions and make sure everything on the vehicle is performing as it should", Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, said in a statement. It is aiming for high frequency launches of small satellites.

Rocket Lab aims to provide launch services to smaller satellites, or what are often called CubeSats.

The 55-foot-tall (17-meter) Electron rocket had four hours to blast off Monday night, and the U.S.

The rocket reached an altitude of 139 miles (224 kilometers) on the May 25 test flight, but did not reach the speed necessary to enter orbit around the Earth.

Electron countdown aborted at engine start, next launch attempt Wednesday