New Zealand-founded company Rocket Lab has lost a rocket during its latest launch off the Mahia Peninsula on the East Coast this morning.

Seven satellites from Japan, the US and the UK lifted off around 9.20am - a day earlier than planned because of bad weather due later this week.

However, Rocket Lab said a problem occurred late in the flight during the second stage burn and the Electron rocket was lost.


It is apologising to customers that had satellites on board Electron.

The launch included a 67kg earth-imaging satellite for Canon Electronics to photograph objects on the ground as small as 90cm wide.

It also included five shoebox-sized Earth observation satellites, for the San Francisco company Planet, which already has a fleet 120 of them.