Radar imaging satellite lost as Rocket Lab Electron rocket fails – Spaceflight Now | Albiseyler

Radar imaging satellite lost as Rocket Lab Electron rocket fails - Spaceflight Now

Update: Rocket Lab’s launch ended in failure. The problem appears to have occurred when the second stage of the Rutherford vacuum engine was about to ignite. This is the fourth failure of Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket in 41 flights. It carried the second of four next-generation Acadia radar imaging satellites for Capella Space.

Original story:

Rocket Lab is preparing to launch the second of four next-generation radar satellites for Capella Space atop an Electron rocket from New Zealand at 18:55 NZST (2:55 EDT / 0655 UTC) on Tuesday.

After liftoff from Pad B at Rocket Lab’s privately run launch pad on the Mahia Peninsula, the expendable Electron rocket, powered by nine Rutherford first-stage engines, will head down a southeast track and head into a 635 km circular orbit. inclined to the equator at an angle of 53 degrees. It will be the 41st orbital mission overall for the Electron rocket and the ninth during 2023.

Artist’s impression of the Capella Acadia radar imaging satellite. Image: Capella.

After burning for two minutes and 25 seconds, the Electron first stage separates and the single Ruthford vacuum engine on the second stage ignites to continue the rocket’s ascent. After reaching the parking runway, the second stage separates just over nine minutes into the flight.

After about 44 minutes of inertia, the Curie engine on the Electron kick stage fires for three minutes to reach its intended orbit. The separation of the Arcadia-2 satellite will follow approximately 57 minutes and 15 seconds of flight.

The Acadia-2 satellite shown before being encased in the Electron rocket payload fairing. Image: Rocket Lab.

Rocket Lab launched the first of four Acadia satellites on a renewable Electron rocket on August 23, 2023. Capella Space reported a “flawless launch” of the satellite within a week of reaching orbit. The company released the first radar images of the cloud-penetrating satellite on August 31 views of roller coasters in theme parks in the US and Japan.

Acadia-1 image of Nagashima Spa Land, an amusement park and resort in Kuwana, Mie, Japan. This image shows the Steel Dragon 2000 roller coaster. The height of the roller coasters is noticeable despite the high angle of incidence. Image: Capella Space.

Acadia is a third generation radar imaging satellite operated by Capella Space. Its SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) is capable of scanning the Earth’s surface day and night, penetrating clouds, fog, smoke and rain. The spacecraft is equipped with larger solar panels and batteries to power a more powerful radar system that provides more bandwidth than the company’s earlier Whitney-class satellites.

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