Long Beach space company Rocket Lab plans postponed New Zealand launch for June

The mission for NASA, the NRO, and UNSW Canberra Space is back on the pad as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

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Courtesy Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab, a Long Beach based space technology company, has resumed launch operations for its next Electron launch now that restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic are beginning to lift.

The company’s twelfth Electron launch was originally scheduled for March 27, but had to be postponed after the New Zealand government required most businesses to close, restricting travel and instructing its citizens to stay home.

Now that many of New Zealand’s workplaces have reopened, a new launch date is planned for June 11 from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula.

Rocket Lab’s Electron launch will be carrying payloads for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra Space.

Safety measures at the launch site will include physical distancing, split shifts, limiting interaction between coworkers, enhanced sanitation, strict hygiene standards and more.