Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket lifts off from its launch pad in New Zealand. (Rocket Lab via YouTube)
Rocket Lab sent a foursome of satellites into orbit today for a threesome of customers, including the Seattle-based BlackSky Earth-watching venture.
BlackSky’s sibling subsidiary, Spaceflight, handled the prelaunch logistics for the Global-4 satellite and for a pair of experimental U.S. Air Force satellites. The fourth spacecraft in the set is the first satellite for what’s destined to become a maritime surveillance constellation fielded by a French venture called UnseenLabs.
Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket rose from the company’s launch pad on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 12:12 a.m. local time Aug. 20 (5:12 a.m. PT Aug. 19). It successfully went through second-stage separation and fired up its kick stage to deploy the satellites into a 335-mile-high, medium-inclination orbit.
“That’s now eight Electron launches to date and a total of 39 satellites delivered to orbit,” Rocket Lab said in a tweet.
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