Rocket Lab Electron Makes Successful Return to Flight

Electron lifts off with Capella Space synthetic aperture radar satellite on Aug. 31, 2020. (Credit: Rocket Lab webcast)

Rocket Lab’s Electron booster made a successful return to flight on Monday by launching a commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite for Capella Space.

The rocket lifted off on time at 3:05 p.m. from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. Electron’s kick stage deployed the 100 kg SAR satellite one hour after launch.

Rocket Lab’s 14th Electron launch comes less than two months after the failure of an Electron booster on July 4. Six satellites were lost as the booster’s second stage failed, sending it plunging into the atmosphere.

Rocket Lab blamed the loss on the failure of an electrical connection that resulted in a loss of power to the stage.

The Electron has successfully launched 12 times. The other failure came on the booster’s maiden flight.