Spaceflight Insider

It’s not Business Time: Scrub called on Rocket Lab’s first commercial flight

Electron rocket at the launch pad

An Electron rocket about to be erected onto the launch pad. Photo Credit: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab’s first fully commercial mission, “It’s Business Time,” will have to wait a little while longer before it takes to the skies.

The 14-day launch window officially opened at 12:30 p.m. New Zealand Standard Time (12:30 a.m. GMT) on June 23, 2018. Each day permits a four-hour launch window.
The first delay was a brief hold in the morning due to the cold weather at the company’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand. According to the company’s Twitter account, they needed to wait for some of the vehicle’s components to warm up.
Closer to the new launch time, almost two hours into the four-hour window, the company tweeted, “Holding at T-23 minutes while we configure a down range telemetry asset.”
About half an hour before the launch window closed, the scrub was called.
Peter Beck, CEO and founder of Rocket Lab, said via Twitter, “Electron is healthy but we have not been able to resolve an issue with one of our down range tracking dishes in the Chatham Islands.”
The window opens again at 12:30 p.m. New Zealand Standard Time on June 24 (12:30 a.m. GMT). If the launch is successful, Spire has said it will continue to be a customer and has stated that they see good synergy between the two companies.
“We give the flight more of a buffer on our expectations since the Electron is a new vehicle. Remember, SpaceX had more failures during their testing than Rocket Lab. You just need to keep an appropriate gauge for the risk profile,” Spire’s director of brand, Nick Allain, told SpaceFlight Insider. Spire is one of the customers with a payload on this mission.


Rae Botsford End is a freelance writer and editor whose primary work currently is writing technical white papers, contributing to SFI, and working on a speculative fiction novel that she hopes to have published soon. Rae wanted an opportunity to report on the various space-related events in and around Florida's Space Coast and approached SFI's founder about the possibility. Rae now covers an array of subjects for our growing website.

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