DEVELOPING STORY: RocketLab Electron Launch Failure

RocketLab's 41st Electron mission "We Will Never Desert You" has ended in a launch failure due the failure of the 2nd stage.


  • Launch Failure Due To Anomaly With Electron 2nd Stage
  • Acadia-2 Payload Lost



Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Jay Keegan

Jay Keegan


What happens next?

Starting today, the Rocket Lab team will work to begin to narrow down the failure point and work to reproduce the failure on the ground.

Additionally, to comply with the FAAs investigation, Rocket Lab will compile a list of corrective actions to submit to the FAA for approval.


As a result of this vital process, Electron will likely not take flight again for a number of months.

Published: 19th Sep 2023 09:29 GMT
Published by: Zac Aubert

Statement from Peter Beck

"Tough day. My deepest apologies to our mission partners Capella Space. Team is already working on root cause. We’ll find it, fix it and be back on the pad quickly."

Published: 19th Sep 2023 09:27 GMT
Published by: Zac Aubert

Statement from RocketLab

"Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), today experienced an issue during the launch of the Company’s 41st mission. Following lift-off from Launch Complex 1, the rocket successfully completed a first stage burn and stage separation as planned, before an issue was experienced at around T+ 2 minutes and 30 seconds into flight, resulting in the end of the mission.

We are deeply sorry to our partners Capella Space for the loss of the mission.

We are working closely with the FAA and supporting agencies as the investigation into the root cause commences. The Electron rocket has previously delivered 171 satellites to orbit across 37 successful orbital missions. We will identify the issue swiftly and implement corrective actions and return to the pad shortly.

Our next mission, currently scheduled before the end of the third quarter, will be postponed while we implement corrective actions. We anticipate providing revised third quarter revenue guidance in the coming days."

Published: 19th Sep 2023 07:20 GMT
Written by: Zac Aubert

RocketLab's 41st Electron mission "We Will Never Desert You" has ended in a launch failure due the failure of the 2nd stage.

Electron lifted off from Pad B at their Launch Complex 1 facility on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand at 02:55 ET/ 06:33 UTC / 18:55 NZT after a 22 minute delay due to solar weather activity.

At T+2:28 seconds into flight the first stage had MECO (Main Engine Cut Off) which was followed immeditly by stage seperation. T+2:31 into flight the Electron 2nd Stage Ruther Engine was to ignite but via the RocketLab broadcast you could see the vehicle speed decreasing before the video cut back to mission control and telemerty was removed from broadcast.


This is the first Electron launch failure since May 15, 2021 during Rocket Lab's "Running Out Of Toes" mission for Blacksky. They returned to the pad on July 29th of the same year.

Rocket Lab will now launch an investigation into the launch failure.

Stay tuned for more updates! 


How long do you think it will be before we see RocketLab back out on the launch pad?

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