Rocket Lab launch attempt: Rain forecast for Mahia

  • 14/12/2017

New Zealand-based Rocket Lab's Electron rocket will attempt another lift-off - if the weather holds.

The Mahia-based company was within two seconds of achieving a launch on Tuesday, sending Earth-imaging satellites for US companies Planet Labs and Spire Global into orbit, but it was aborted at the last moment.

The 17-metre tall rocket was due to launch at 4:50pm from Mahia Peninsula on the North Island's east coast and had a 15-minute Facebook Live countdown, with thousands of people watching from around the world.

Rocket Lab said on its Twitter account on Wednesday that another attempt would be made on Thursday, if the weather plays ball.

High winds have cancelled launch attempts before.

Analysis of Tuesday's failure had been completed and the launch was canned due to "rising liquid oxygen temperatures", not compatible with the warm conditions of the day.

The fix is simple, the company concluded.

The weather in Mahia today is forecast to be rainy for most of the morning, easing off in the late afternoon.

It is the second of three test flights as the company prepares to become a commercial operation.

The inaugural Rocket Lab launch in May reached space but didn't make it into orbit, due to a communication fault.

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket is designed to send into space small payloads, such as satellites, weighing up to 150kg.

NZN / Newshub.