Rocket Lab will carry satellites on its next mission for California-base Astro Digital.

The mission will be the fifth for the year and scheduled to take place during a 14-day launch window opening on October 15.

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The mission will lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula.


Within Electron's fairing will be a single spacecraft for Astro Digital which supports satellites and missions across a variety of sectors including Earth observation, communications and technology demonstrations.

Astro Digital is a five-year-old business which monitors six satellites. The company suffered a setback in 2017 when its first two satellites were damaged as a Russian Soyuz rocket failed. reported Astro Digital was paid insurance for the loss of two Landmapper cubesats sent into orbit two years ago after the company proved the failure stemmed from a launch problem

The Rocket Lab mission is named 'As The Crow Flies' in reference to Astro Digital's Corvus platform of cubesats. Corvus is a genus of birds which includes crows.

'As The Crow Flies' has been moved forward in Rocket Lab's 2019 launch after a customer originally slated for launch in the coming weeks requested a later launch date.

Rocket Lab'senior vice president – global launch services, Lars Hoffman, says the mission is a perfect example of the tailored, responsive and precise launch service sought by an increasing number of small satellite operators.

"The Electron launch vehicle, with its unique Kick Stage, is perfectly positioned to provide the kind of tailored, rapid and responsive access to space that rideshare models simply can't deliver," Hoffman said.

The mission patch for As the Crow Flies. Photo / Supplied
The mission patch for As the Crow Flies. Photo / Supplied

Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab has delivered 39 satellites to orbit on the Electron launch vehicle, enabling operations in space debris mitigation, Earth observation, ship and airplane tracking, and radio communications.

The company has a manufacturing plant in Auckland but is headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron launch vehicle and Photon satellite platform.

Rocket Lab is nearing completion of its second launch site in Virginia which the company says should be ready for its first Electron launch next year.