Watch Live: Rocket Lab Attempts Second Launch of Electron Rocket From U.S. Soil

Watch Live: Rocket Lab Attempts Second Launch of Electron Rocket From U.S. Soil

After a slight delay due to weather, Rocket Lab is ready to fire off the engines of its Electron rocket and send an Earth-imaging satellite to low Earth orbit.

The “Stronger Together” mission is scheduled for liftoff no earlier than 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday during a two-hour launch window, the company announced on Twitter. Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket will launch from Launch Complex 2 at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. You can watch the action live through the company’s website, or directly through the feed below.

Those of you who live along the eastern coast may even be able to see the Electron rocket soar through the skies IRL, according to NASA’s Wallops facility.

The small-lift two-stage launch vehicle was originally scheduled to launch on Saturday, March 11 but strong winds forced Rocket Lab to push the launch to Wednesday, March 15 and then delay it by another day to avoid high winds once again.

This is Rocket Lab’s second launch from U.S. soil, the first taking place in January with the liftoff of the “Virginia is for Launch Lovers” mission. Up until then, the California-based company had been relying on its launch facility in New Zealand, from which it launched 32 missions (29 of which were successful). However, its newly acquired pad in Virginia is meant to help it grow its launch business for both commercial and government customers.

Electron’s booster is powered by nine Rutherford engines, which run on a mixture of liquid oxygen and refined kerosene. The 17.98 m-tall (18 meters) rocket exerts 15,649 kg of thrust at liftoff and is capable of delivering 661 pounds (300 kilograms) to low Earth orbit. The rocket has launched on 33 previous occasions, delivering 155 satellites to orbit, according to the company.

For Thursday’s launch, the Electron booster will carry the first of Capella Space’s SAR Earth-imaging Acadia satellites. Rocket Lab secured a multi-launch deal with Capella Space whereby four Electron rockets will deliver its satellites to low Earth orbit, one at a time.

On the opposite side of the planet, Rocket Lab is also gearing up to launch another Electron rocket from the company’s Complex 1 in New Zealand to deploy satellites for Spaceflight Inc. customer BlackSky.

The two launches are expected to take place just days apart from each other, with Rocket Lab juggling two missions on two different continents simultaneously.

More: Rocket Lab Seeks to Answer ‘Are We Alone?’ by Launching First Private Mission to Venus

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