Rocket Lab forced to abort launch again


The company will open a nine-day launch window starting Friday, January 19.

The company has faced a series of hurdles in launching its Electron rocket, known as Still Testing, into orbit. Each day the launch window will open at 2:30 p.m. local time in New Zealand, or 8:30 p.m. EST.

Shortly after, it suspended launch attempts until early 2018.

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is scheduled to lift off from the company's private launch range in New Zealand on the afternoon of January 20 local time, which means the evening of January 19 on the U.S. East Coast.

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The satellites are an Earth-imaging satellite for Planet, and two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire, for weather and ship tracking. The company was initially set to launch the satellites in mid-December, but delayed the launch after finding a "power fault" during ground checkouts.

At its peak more than 10,000 people were tuning into the live stream on You Tube.

"We'll become the second company in the world to have put something in orbit, and New Zealand the 11th nation", said company founder Peter Beck.

It was the second test flight of Rocket Lab's commercially-developed Electron booster, which is sized to haul up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms) into sun-synchronous orbit 300 miles (500 kilometers) above Earth. The relatively small launch vehicle, only 56 feet tall, is catered to the growing demand for a rocket to place smaller satellites in orbit.