After several weather-related delays, Rocket Lab says it’s set for its latest launch at 3.05pm today.
The lift-off, from Launch Complex 1 at Mahia, will be the company’s 14th commercial flight and first since its failed July 5 mission.
Regulators gave the Kiwi-American company the green light to resume operations last month after the cause of failed flight – a single faulty electrical connection – was identified.
Today’s flight, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical”, is a dedicated mission for Capella Space, an information services company providing Earth observation data on demand, Rocket Lab says.
Capella’s payload, “Sequoia”, is a single 100kg-class microsatellite which will be the first publicly-available satellite in the company’s commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) constellation.
By positioning the satellite to a 45-degree inclination, Capella Space will maximise coverage over important areas such as the Middle East, Korea, Japan, Europe, South East Asia, Africa, and the US.
The mission name is a nod to Capella’s SAR technology that provides high-quality images of the Earth day or night, and in any weather conditions. Capella’s space-based radar can detect sub-0.5 meter changes on the surface of the Earth, providing insights and data that can be used for security, agricultural and infrastructure monitoring, as well as disaster response and recovery.