Rocket Lab aims for new heights with its eighth orbital mission
Rocket Lab hopes to complete its eighth mission to deploy satellites into space on Thursday.
The flight was pushed back from the start of its launch window earlier this week due to stormy weather near its launch site on the Māhia Peninsular near Gisborne.
The US-based Kiwi-founded space-launch company could launch its next Electron rocket any time from 2.22pm, with the live stream starting 20 minutes earlier. However, that could be pushed back further.
On board will be a single "microsat", which is reported to be the size of a small suitcase, built by Californian satellite manufacturer Astro Digital.
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Microsats are larger than the nano satellites that have made up the bulk of the 39 satellites Rocket Lab has put into space so far.
The Electron rocket should deploy the satellite at an altitude of more than 1000km, which is more than twice the altitude reached by any of its previous missions.
It will also carry instruments that are designed to advance Rocket Lab's plan to recover and reuse the first stage of its rockets, so it can conduct more frequent launches in future.
The company eventually hopes to snag its main rocket stages using a helicopter, before they parachute into the ocean.
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