Archive for the ‘Space Is Hard RocketLab BlackSky Loses Two Satellites On Liftoff Over New Zealand California Chrome Medina Spirit May 15 2021’ Category

Just Achieving Stable Earth Orbit Is… Pretty Daunting: RocketLab Suffers Its Second Launch Failure In Under A Year, Off Of New Zealand’s Coast.
May 15, 2021

Space, they say, is. . . hard. And as a poignantly immediate reminder. . . of just how amazing it is that all three of the UAE, NASA and now China’s space agencies have achieved their various latest objectives, on and around far-off Mars. . . consider that two potential BlackSky satellites were lost, just this past evening — off the coast of New Zealand, when a private company’s second stage of its liftoff rocket appeared to malfunction, and it then shut down after only a few seconds of thrusting. The below video ought to start at liftoff, one hour and 29 minutes into the feed — the anomoly occurs about four minutes later.

Between Mr. Musk’s repeated landing failures, and these ones. . . it is a small miracle, each time a spacecraft is able to safely escape Earth, let alone orbit around (or soft land on!) Mars.

. . .The upper stage of Rocket Lab’s Electron launcher appeared to tumble just after engine start, following shutdown and separation of the Electron’s first stage. The upper stage engine then appeared to cut off. Rocket Lab has ended its launch webcast. . . .

If space was easy. . . everyone would achieve it. And separately (but with an echo to the fate of California Chrome, of a few years back). . . Medina Spirit came up short in the Preakness, after testing positive for banned steroids immediately after the Derby. All rather. . . sad. But onward, just the same. . . onward.