Author: Ireland Hendry-Tennent

Rocket Lab's failed launch isn't as bad as it may seem, according to the founder of a digital technology company. 

On Sunday Rocket Lab's thirteenth launch failed after an Electron rocket was lost during the mission. 

The aerospace company had planned to deploy seven satellites from the Mahia Peninsula, with Electron launching at 9:20am (NZ time).

Rush Digital Founder Danu Abeysuriya told The AM Show on Monday at the start of the launch, it looked like everything was going to plan. 

"On the livestream you can see the rocket reaches nearly 200 kilometres in altitude and then there is a stage where they jettison the two batteries and just before that happened they lost the livestream and the rocket started to come back down."

But Abeysuriya said that failure is actually normal for space exploration and this is the company's first mishap. 

"It's a pretty big milestone for Rocket Lab, who for a space company have had quite a good run. Space X failed three or four times."

The satellites were to be deployed to a 500km circular low Earth orbit for a number of customers, including Spaceflight Inc's client Canon Electronics, as well as small operators Planet and In-Space Missions.

Abeysuriya said anyone who was sending a satellite up in the rocket would have been aware of the risks and hopefully have insurance to cover the mishap. 

"These rockets are high risk activities so you want to make sure that anything you are sending up is not a critical part, in case it doesn't make it up."

Abeysuriya said thanks to Rocket Lab's innovative nature and its use of 3D printing, the next launch hopefully won't be too far away. 

"They have very innovative systems... and this allows them to build the rocket really simple and really fast and they are aiming to get up to up 120 launches a year," he said. 

On Sunday, Rocket Lab founder and chief executive, New Zealander Peter Beck, confirmed the Electron rocket was lost "late into the mission".

"I am incredibly sorry that we failed to deliver our customers' satellites today. Rest assured we will find the issue, correct it and be back on the pad soon," Beck wrote.

A livestream of the launch finished when Rocket Lab said the signal from the camera became too weak. After briefly switching to a shot of staff in the control room, the webcast ended. There was no sign at this point anything had gone wrong with the mission.

Rocket Lab is investigating the failed launch. 

Note from Nighthawk.NZ:

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