Rocket Lab has successfully launched their 15th Electron mission and deployed Earth-imaging satellites for Planet and Spaceflight Inc. customer Canon Electronics — this mission was Rocket Lab’s fifth for this year, making Electron the second-most frequently flown U.S. launch vehicle in 2020.
The ‘In Focus’ mission launched from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula at 21:21 UTC, 28 October 2020. The Electron launch vehicle successfully deployed ten commercial small satellites to a 500km circular orbit, bringing the total number of payloads deployed by Rocket Lab to 65.
Canon Electronic’s mission objective with their CE-SAT-IIB smallsat is to demonstrate the company’s Earth-imaging capability with a middle-size telescope equipped with an ultra-high sensitivity camera to take night images of the Earth and small size telescopes suitable for cubesat use.
The payloads on ‘In Focus’ included the latest flock of Planet’s Earth-imaging SuperDove smallsats, each integrated with and deployed from Rocket Lab’s Maxwell satellite dispensers. Flock 4e’ bolsters Planet’s constellation of EO satellites already on-orbit providing medium-resolution global coverage and near-daily revisit.
Details about the customers onboard Rocket Lab’s 16th Electron launch will be announced shortly, with the next mission scheduled to take place from Launch Complex 1 in the coming weeks.
“Congratulations to Planet on the addition of their latest SuperDoves to their constellation and to the team at Canon Electronics on the deployment of their latest tech demonstration satellite,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “Electron has once again delivered a smooth ride to orbit and precise deployment for our individual rideshare customers. Continuing to launch in the face of global disruption and adversity, while at the same time becoming the second-most frequently flown U.S. launch vehicle this year, is the latest display of our dedication in providing ongoing, easy access to space for our customers.”