People living all along the US East Coast had a chance to enjoy Tuesday evening’s rocket launch while the skies were clear. And a space launchhopefully it was the first of many such events.
The company has conducted more than 30 launches of its Electron rocket from its New Zealand facility. On Tuesday, it successfully lifted off for the first time from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Space Station at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.
The electron exploded shortly after 6 p.m. You can watch the entire mission again below.
The mission, nicknamed Virginia Is for Launch Lovers, sent satellites into orbit for Hawkeye 360, a company dedicated to detecting and locating radio signals from space.
Most US space launches depart from Florida. But Wallops is centrally located on the Atlantic coast, making the launch visible over a wide region that stretches from South Carolina to Maine and includes tens of millions of people. Prepared and successful photographers across the region posted the Electron’s flight through the atmosphere on social media.
Rocket Lab has become the second most successful commercial launch provider in recent years, behind only SpaceX. The company says its second launch pad in Virginia will support more than 130 missions a year. The Electron is a smaller rocket than SpaceX’s Falcon 9, designed to launch smaller satellites into orbit.
Rocket Lab is developing a larger rocket called the Neutron and is also trying to perfect a way to reuse its booster..