A picture perfect launch of Electron by Rocket Lab

January 30, 2018


After many scrubs and a delay, Rocket lab launches their Electron rocket into the sky above the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The carbon-composite launch vehicle ignited its 9 Rutherford engines and launched off the pad about 2 seconds after engine ignition. The rocket climbed through the atmosphere and the first stage cutoff and separated about 2.5 minutes after launch. The second stage carried the 3 satellites into Low Earth Orbit. Electron launched an Earth-imaging Dove satellite for Planet labs and two Lemur-2 satellites for Spire that allows gathering data for weather and ship tracking.


Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is a fully carbon-composite rocket with engines that have 3D printed components. These are the worlds first for a high-performance liquid-fueled rocket engine and the propellants are fed into them by electric turbo-pumps. These are designed to reduce mass for higher performance of the launch vehicle. Electrons design is focused around production to allow the launch vehicles to be built and launched at unprecedented frequency.

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