After halting its work for sometime due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Rocket Lab finally has come back to an active launch position from its 1st launch-pad located in New Zealand. On June 13, it launched its twelfth launch vehicle, Electron from its Mahia Peninsula launch site in NZ, carrying payloads in behalf of NASA, University of the New South Wales and the United States national Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
The launch took place at 5:13pm local time and went smoothly, without any hitch. Later, Rocket Lab confirmed that the payload deployment went as planned as well once Electron reached the target orbit.
The American aerospace manufacturer and small sat launch service provider has been preparing for major expansion of the company’s launch capabilities, using a new US launch site on Virginia’s Wallops Island. The launch site is open now and its first ever mission was scheduled to take off previously this year. However, the launch had to be postponed in part due to delays caused by the NASA’s attempts to contain spread of coronavirus with facility closure as well as focus on vital missions.
The lockdown has been lifted completely from NZ, however, the nation’s quick action and comparatively small population let it contain coronavirus cases fairly quickly as well as lower the rate of infection to zero.