Rocket Lab executed a picture-perfect first launch for Seattle’s Spaceflight Inc., putting BlackSky’s Global-3 Earth-observing satellite and six other small spacecraft into orbit from its New Zealand launch pad.
The Los Angeles-based launch company nicknamed today’s mission “Make It Rain,” in honor of Spaceflight and its allegedly drizzly home base.
In contrast to the nickname, the weather was crystal-clear and sunny for liftoff at 4:30 p.m. June 29 New Zealand time (9:30 p.m. PT June 28) from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The launch had been delayed twice this week, just to make sure all systems were go, but today’s countdown was trouble-free.
The ascent of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket looked trouble-free as well. After the first two stages did their job, the rocket’s kick stage entered what Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck called a “perfect transfer orbit” in preparation for satellite deployment.