Rocket Lab is preparing to launch their fifth Electron mission of 2020 — a rideshare for Planet Labs and Spaceflight Industries named “In Focus,” a reference to Electron’s payload of 10 Earth-imaging satellites. The flight will target a 500 kilometer sun-synchronous orbit, ideal for Earth observation missions as the high inclination means the satellites can cover large portions of the Earth surface while the Sun maintains the same position in the sky each time the satellites pass over a specific location.
The 15th flight of an Electron rocket is targeted to launch from Rocket Lab’s private launch facility off of Launch Complex 1A on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand. The launch window opens on 21 October at 21:14 UTC (17:14 EDT), or 22 October at 10:14 local time in New Zealand.
Ten payloads in total will be deployed from the Curie engine powered Kick Stage of Electron: Canon’s CE-SAT-IIB and nine of Planet’s Flock 4e’ SuperDoves.
CE-SAT-IIB. Credit: Rocket Lab
Built by Canon Electronics, CE-SAT-IIB is a second generation technical demonstration satellite developed to test the company’s imaging equipment in space.
The 35.5 kilogram satellite comes equipped with several lenses, including a middle-size telescope — attached to ...