Rocket Lab USA Inc., a small satellite-launch company, sank after a failed mission to space led to the loss of its primary Electron rocket and the payloads it was carrying to orbit.
(Bloomberg) — Rocket Lab USA Inc., a small satellite-launch company, sank after a failed mission to space led to the loss of its primary Electron rocket and the payloads it was carrying to orbit.
The rocket took off successfully from New Zealand a few minutes before 3 a.m. New York time, but at two and a half minutes into the flight, the Electron experienced an unspecified issue that ultimately ended the mission.
This is the third major in-flight failure of an Electron rocket that was carrying a payload for customers. Rocket Lab said in a statement Tuesday that it will postpone its next mission as engineers investigate what happened and take corrective steps. It plans to provide a revised third-quarter revenue forecast in the coming days.
The shares fell 15% at 9:30 a.m. in New York. The company had a market value of $2.4 billion as of the close of trading Monday, following a 34% run-up this year.
Rocket Lab’s Electron was carrying one of Capella Space’s Acadia satellites, which use a specialized technology to image the Earth. So far, the Electron has performed 37 successful orbital and suborbital launches to space.
A live video stream of the launch appeared to show the Electron separate successfully as planned, but then footage froze and an announcer declared that there had been an anomaly.
(Updates shares in fourth paragraph.)
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