Rocket Lab, a New Zealand/US spaceflight startup, has successfully launched seven small satellites under its “Make It Rain” mission on June 29. These satellites were carried aboard the Electron rocket and the launch took place from their Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand at 04:30 UTC. The launch was a rideshare mission for the private aerospace company Spaceflight.
Among the payloads were two spacecrafts, namely, Prometheus and Cubesat ACRUX-1. The Cubesat is a part of the Melbourne Space Program, an educational organization that gives Australian students practical experience through space projects. The former craft will be operated by the United States Special Operations Command.
Apart from these payloads, there was BlackSky Global-3, which is the largest spacecraft on the mission. A Rocket Lab representative wrote in a press-kit that the spacecraft is “a microsatellite developed, designed and manufactured by BlackSky, a leading provider of geospatial intelligence, satellite imaging, and global monitoring services,”
This was Electron’s seventh flight and the company’s third launch this year. The company’s missions sport some of the most playful titles. Its previous two missions were called “That’s a Funny Looking Cactus”, with “Two Thumbs Up”. Its current mission, “Make It Rain” was named for the heavy rainfall in Spaceflight’s home town Seattle (as well as in New Zealand).
After the successful launch, Rocket Lab CEO and Founder, Peter Beck, congratulated his team said in a statement saying, “Congratulations to the dedicated teams behind the payloads on this mission, and also to our team for another flawless Electron launch.”
He added, “It’s a privilege to provide tailored and reliable access to space for small satellites like these, giving each one a smooth ride to orbit and precise deployment, even in a rideshare arrangement.”
Beck reported that the company’s current year is booked with monthly launches. While the date for its next mission isn’t announced yet, Beck hinted that it could be just weeks away.