Rocket Lab's eighth mission, "Look Ma No Hands", is currently under way on the Mahia Peninsula.

The launch window opened of August 17 and closes on August 30, giving Rocket Lab 14 days to launch the rocket, Electron.

Rocket Lab spokesperson Morgan Bailey said this launch was a little different from others, with a shorter launch time, as well as the launch time moving forward by between 20-30 minutes each day.

"Traditionally we set aside four hours every day and we can only launch within that time."

Advertisement

This time the launch time is only an hour and 40 minutes.

The reason for change is one of the four satellites on board is part of a constellation for a company called Black Sky.

It has to be put into the right position to communicate with another satellite previously launched by Rocket Lab.

"Typically if we are launching a satellite is doesn't need to interact with anything else, but this one it is quite critical it is talking to that other one which means were are only able to launch at specific times," Bailey said.

The first attempt was made on Saturday, August 17, at 1.29am, but high ground winds prevented the launch.

"We stood down from the launch attempt due to weather, there were really high ground winds, but that's pretty common across the launch industry."

She said the next attempt will be made at 12.12am on Tuesday morning.

"Again, it all depends on how the weather is tracking and any number of thousands of technical systems that have to be working in top form as well.

Advertisement

"But for now we are tracking for that Tuesday morning time."

As well as the Black Sky satellite, Electron will be carrying two for United States Air Force Space Command, and one for French company UNSEENLABS.

The UNSEENLABS satellite will be part of a new constellation delivering maritime data, to help shipping companies monitor their own vessels, as well as threats such as pirates and illegal ships.

Bailey said the team was very excited for the launch of Electron.

"It's great to be back on the pad only six weeks after the last mission.

"Even though this is Rocket Lab's eighth flight it is still incredibly exciting.

"There are more than 100 companies trying to build rockets dedicated to the small satellite market, and so far Rocket Lab is the only one globally who has done it.

"To have seven launches under our belt and another one on the pad absolutely makes it a global leader and it's exciting to be doing that right here in Hawke's Bay."