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Rocket Lab to open ‘Still Testing’ launch window on January 20

(11 January 2018 - Rocket Lab) Rocket Lab, a US aerospace company with operations in New Zealand, will open a nine-day launch window from Saturday January 20, 2018 (NZDT) to carry out the company’s second test launch of the Electron rocket. During this time a four-hour launch window will open daily from 2:30 p.m. NZDT.

The test launch, titled ‘Still Testing’, will take place from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand. It follows on from the successful inaugural Electron test carried out on May 25, 2017.

rocket 1

(courtesy: Rocket Lab)

Still Testing will carry an Earth-imaging Dove satellite for Planet and two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire for weather and ship tracking, enabling Rocket Lab to gather crucial data and test systems for the deployment stage of a mission.

Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, says the test is an important next step in democratizing access to space to empower humanity.

“Increased access to space will vastly improve humanity’s ability to build out orbital infrastructure, such as constellations of weather and Earth-imaging satellites. These will provide better data about our planet and enable us as a species to make informed decisions about how we better manage our impact. This test launch is a crucial next step in gathering more data about the Electron launch vehicle so we can deliver on this future,” he says.

“Once again, we’re expecting to scrub multiple times as we wait for perfect conditions and make sure everything on the vehicle is performing as it should.”

The test launch attempt will only proceed if conditions are ideal for launch. Due to the nature of launching rockets, planned lift-offs are often subject to multiple and subsequent postponements, or scrubs, to allow for small, technical modifications and to wait for ideal weather conditions.