Rocket Lab launches two satellites, and attempt to recover the booster

Rocket Lab launches two satellites, and attempt to recover the boosterRocket Lab launches two satellites, and attempt to recover.

1 minute & 3 seconds read time

Rocket Lab successfully launched its two-stage Electron rocket, carrying two BlackSky Global Earth observation satellites for its planned constellation.

Rocket Lab launches two satellites, and attempt to recover the booster 01

The launch took place from Rocket Lab's launch pad on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand's North Island. Lift-off occurred at 2:38 p.m. (1:38 a.m. UTC) local time on November 18th. The first stage of the Electron rocket was scheduled to parachute safely into the ocean, splashing a few hundred miles off the coast where it was to be retrieved by a Rocket Lab boat, with a helicopter flying in the area to help locate it.

Fifty-five minutes after lift-off, the rocket's upper stage deployed the two BlackSky satellites it was carrying at an altitude of 270 miles (430 kilometers). Rocket Lab plans to help launch four additional BlackSky satellites across two more Electron launches as per the deal signed between the two companies.

Previously in May of this year, a severe error in the upper stage of an Electron rocket resulted in the loss of the two BlackSky satellites aboard in Rocket Lab's 20th Electron rocket launch to date.

This mission is Electron's fifth flight of the year and 22nd overall, all of which used brand-new rockets. Rocket Lab plans to expand the helicopter's role in the recovery process to eventually collect the rocket's first stage as it falls through the sky, to then be inspected, refurbished, and reused.

Rocket Lab live-streamed the event on its YouTube channel, which can be viewed in its entirety here, with the mission dubbed "Love At First Insight."


Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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