Electron | I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical

Rocket Lab Ltd launch of a Electron Rocket

Launch Status
Success

Rocket Lab Ltd was scheduled to launch a Electron rocket as part of the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical mission. The launch window for the Earth Science mission was on Sun, Aug 30th, 2020, 11:05 PM EDT from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1A. The status of the launch was Success with a 90% chance for favorable weather conditions. Don’t miss this exciting rocket launch! Watch the launch video of the Electron and experience the excitement for yourself.

Mission

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Optical

This return to flight mission is dedicated for Capella Space, an information services company providing Earth observation data on demand. Capella’s payload, ‘Sequoia’, is a single 100 kg class microsatellite which will be the first publicly available satellite in the company’s commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) constellation. By positioning the satellite to a 45-degree inclination, Capella Space will maximize coverage over important areas such as the Middle East, Korea, Japan, Europe, South East Asia, Africa, and the U.S. The mission name is a nod to Capella’s SAR technology that provides high quality images of the Earth day or night, and in any weather conditions, as well as a nod to the infamous advertisement campaign for “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter”. Capella’s space-based radar can detect sub-0.5 meter changes on the surface of the Earth, providing insights and data that can be used for security, agricultural and infrastructure monitoring, as well as disaster response and recovery.

Location

Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1A

Onenui Station, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
Rocket Lab Ltd

Rocket

Electron

Electron is a two-stage orbital expendable launch vehicle (with an optional third stage) developed by the American aerospace company Rocket Lab. Electron is a small-lift launch vehicle designed to launch small satellites and cubesats to sun-synchronous orbit and low earth orbit. The Electron is the first orbital class rocket to use electric-pump-fed engines, powered by the 9 Rutherford engines on the first stage.

Rocket Lab Ltd

Rocket Lab is an American aerospace manufacturer with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary. The company develops lightweight, cost-effective commercial rocket launch services. The Electron Program was founded on the premise that small payloads such as CubeSats require dedicated small launch vehicles and flexibility not currently offered by traditional rocket systems. Its rocket, the Electron, is a light-weight rocket and is now operating commercially. Electron currently launches from only Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand however they are currently looking into developing a facility in the US.