Rocket launch: No further action against yacht that foiled launch

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Rocket launch: No further action against yacht that foiled launch

Rocket Lab, a spaceflight company with assets in the United States and New Zealand, is gearing up for the second launch of its Electron rocket.

The four-hour launch window opens at 8:30 p.m. EST on Jan.19 (2:30 p.m. NZDT on January 20).

For the 17-metre-long carbon-fibre rocket to launch successfully, 30,000 data points from sensors on the rocket needed to align, and weather conditions had to be ideal.

The New Zealand-born aerospace company tried to launch the rocket, named "Still Testing", from the Māhia Peninsula before Christmas a year ago, but strong wind high in the atmosphere, a power fault, and too much liquid oxygen feeding into the rocket's engine obstructed multiple launch attempts.

The launch was originally scheduled for early December, but various issues (mainly weather) stopped the company from launching the rocket then.

The first successful flight was carried out on 25 May previous year.

The satellites are an Earth-imaging satellite for Planet, and two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire, for weather and ship tracking.

Planes, shipping and road traffic will be kept away from the Mahia Peninsula launch complex for four hours from 2.30pm each afternoon during the nine days. The company will provide a livestream of the launch on their website, starting about 15 minutes before the rocket's anticipated launch time.

"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. The webcast will also be available on Rocket Lab's You Tube channel and Facebook page. The launch vehicle being used for the test flight is titled "Still Testing", but it is carrying three customer satellites.

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