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Rocket Lab's 13th launch was unlucky
There were seven satellites aboard the private rocket Electron, all of which were designed to survey the Earth's surface.
In New Zealand, an unsuccessful launch of an Electron rocket took place. The mission, according to the tradition of the private company Rocket Lab, bore the original name Pics Or It Didn't Happen ("either show the photo, or there was nothing") - due to the fact that there were satellites on board to monitor the Earth's surface; in other words, equipment for photography and video filming.
Shortly before the upper stage was disconnected from the second stage of the rocket and at about the moment of the "hot" switching of the batteries, a certain anomaly occurred. A few minutes later, the company reported that the mission had failed due to a problem "at the end of the second stage," that is, almost at the final stage. Due to the failure to enter the planned orbit, the second stage with the upper stage and satellites will soon burn up in the atmosphere when falling back to Earth. The company later added that the problem was observed already from the 4th minute of the flight.
On board were five latest generation SuperDove satellites (Flock 4e) from Planet, the operator of the world's largest Earth observation orbital constellation. The company's almost continuous stream of imagery helps scientists, students, businesses and governments identify patterns in various large-scale processes on the planet's surface, catch early signs of change and, as a result, make timely decisions. These five new devices were equipped with even better optics and software.