The rocket had been carrying payloads for three customers, most notably Canon. It was supposed to be demonstrating an Earth imaging camera system ahead of plans for mass production. Planet was expanding its giant constellation of Earth observation satellites, while In-Space was launching its first cubesat mission as part of an initiative to help researchers and startups get payloads into orbit.
The loss comes after 11 consecutive successful Electron launches, including some with a relatively rapid turnaround. This isn’t the end, then, but it suggests that Rocket Lab may have work to do before it’s a completely reliable option for getting machines into space.
A brief statement about today’s mission from our founder and CEO, Peter Beck. pic.twitter.com/QUShtzp7J0
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) July 5, 2020