The aerospace company hoping to put satellites into orbit from Mahia has delayed a proposed rocket launch until the New Year.

US-based company Rocket Lab opened a 10-day launch window on Friday December 8, with the aim of sending its second test launch into orbit from the company's facility in Mahia.

However, weather and atmospheric conditions resulted in successive launches being scrubbed and a company spokeswoman on Saturday said it would delay another launch attempt until "early" 2018, after a power fault was discovered on Friday.

"Corrective measures have been put in place for the power fault discovered during ground checkouts yesterday, however with only one day remaining in the launch window Rocket Lab has made the decision to delay an attempt until 2018.


"The current launch window ends on Sunday 17 December NZDT and will not to be extended in order to preserve crew rest."

New "Still Testing" launch window dates would be released when established early next year.

A potential launch on Tuesday was aborted less than two seconds before lift-off.

Rocket Lab's analysis determined that was aborted due to rising liquid oxygen (LOx) temperatures feeding into one of the Electron's nine Rutherford engines on the vehicle's first stage.

The slight LOx temperature increase was a result of a LOx chilldown bleed schedule that was not compatible with the warm conditions of the day at Launch Complex-1.

While the temperatures were within safe parameters for launch, Rocket Lab had set conservative parameters for the test flight campaign that led to the vehicle performing a safe auto-sequence abort at T-2 seconds prior to lift-off. The abort caused no damage to the vehicle or launch pad infrastructure, with the vehicle performing exactly as expected in accordance with the launch criteria.

"Electron performed as it should if it detects anything off-nominal during the auto-sequence and the electric turbo pumps shut down in milliseconds", Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck said.

"Our team developed very advanced systems to prevent launch if any one of thousands of factors isn't perfectly aligned."