[Update: Launched] Rocket Lab planning its return to flight Electron mission

After a failure in the second stage during their “Running Out Of Toes” mission earlier this year. Rocket Lab is planning to return with a now improved system this week. The mission will carry a test satellite for the United States Space Force to evaluate new sensor technology. In tradition with Rocket Lab’s fun naming style, this launch will be named “It’s A Little Chile Up Here”. This is in honor of the green chile of New Mexico where the Space Force’s Space Test Program is based.

Date: Thursday, July 29th at 4:00 a.m. EDT (2-hour window)

Rocket: Rocket Lab Electron

Payload: USSF Space Test Program’s Monolith satellite

Launch Pad: Launch Complex 1, Mahia, New Zealand

Landing Site: For this mission the Electron first stage will not be recovered.

About Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket is a smallsat dedicated launcher standing about 18 meters tall. It first launched back in 2017 and has since launched a total of 20 times, 17 of which have been successful. The rocket design is made up of two stages with an optional kickstage. The first stage uses 9 electric pump-fed Rutherford engines. While the second stage uses a single vacuum optimized Rutherford. The unique part of the Electron rocket is its use of electric pumps for its engines, allowing the rocket to use all of its fuel for sending the payload into orbit rather than using part of it to power a generator.

Where to watch Rocket Lab’s “It’s A Little Chile Up Here” mission?

Rocket Lab will be livestreaming their launch of “It’s A Little Chile Up Here” on their website as well as their YouTube channel. Expect a well run show, since the beginning Rocket Lab has been giving the public well produced coverage of their missions. Rocket Lab will start their stream at T-20 minutes, the launch could be between 4 and 7 a.m. EDT.

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