Watch the live stream of Rocket Lab's latest launch from 4:30pm below:
Rocket Lab's fresh attempt to launch its 'Don't Stop Me Now' mission has been a success.
The mission, after being delayed due to hgh winds on Thursday, launched at 5:12pm.
'Don't Stop Me Now' is a rideshare mission from Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula that will deploy payloads for American and Australian customers.
The Kiwi-American company successfully launched the mission at 5:12pm.
The mission is Rocket Lab's 12th Electron launch since the company began launches in May 2017.
Payloads for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra Space will be deployed.
The launch will enable university research into Earth's magnetic field, support the testing of new smallsat communications architecture and demonstrate a streamlined, commercial approach for getting government small satellites into space.
The mission, originally scheduled for March 27, has been delayed due to Covid-19.
Onboard the rocket includes several small satellites, including the ANDESITE (Ad-Hoc Network Demonstration for Extended Satellite-Based Inquiry and Other Team Endeavors) satellite created by electrical and mechanical engineering students and professors at Boston University. The satellite will launch as part of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and will conduct groundbreaking scientific study into Earth's magnetic field.
Once in space, the ANDESITE satellite will initiate measurements of the magnetosphere with onboard sensors, later releasing eight pico satellites carrying small magnetometer sensors to track electric currents flowing in and out of the atmosphere, a phenomenon also known as space weather. These variations in the electrical activity racing through space can have a big impact on our lives here on Earth, causing interruptions to things like radio communications and electrical systems.
Three payloads designed, built and operated by the NRO will also be carried. Procured under the agency's Rapid Acquisition of a Small Rocket (RASR) contract vehicle, RASR allows the NRO to explore new launch opportunities that provide a streamlined, commercial approach for getting small satellites into space, as well as provide those working in the small satellite community with timely and cost-effective access to space.
Those payloads will be joined by the M2 Pathfinder satellite, a collaboration between the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra Space and the Australian Government.
The M2 Pathfinder will test communications architecture and other technologies that will assist in informing the future space capabilities of Australia. The satellite will demonstrate the ability of an onboard software-based radio to operate and reconfigure while in orbit.
Peter Beck, founder and chief executive of Rocket Lab, said the mission is a great example of the kind of cutting-edge research and fast-paced innovation that small satellites are enabling.
"It's a privilege to have NASA and the NRO launch on Electron again, and we're excited to welcome the University of New South Wales onto our manifest for the first time, too.
"We created Electron to make getting to space easy for all, so it's gratifying to be meeting the needs of national security payloads and student research projects on the same mission."