Rocket Lab launches 10 Earth-observation satellites into orbit - Space.com
Oct 28, 2020 1 min, 2 secs

The satellites lifted off today (Oct. 28) atop a Rocket Lab Electron booster, which launched from the company's New Zealand pad at 5:21 p.m.

Nine of the 10 payloads are "SuperDoves," shoebox-sized cubesats built by San Francisco-based imaging company Planet, which operates the world's largest Earth-observation constellation.

Related: Rocket Lab and its Electron booster (photos).

The vast majority of these satellites are cubesats in the Dove family, which can resolve features as small as 10 feet (3 meters) across on Earth's surface.

CE-SAT-IIB is a demonstration craft that features "a middle-size telescope equipped with an ultra-high sensitivity camera to take night images of the Earth and small-size telescopes which are suitable for cubesat use," Rocket Lab representatives wrote in a description of today's mission, which the company dubbed "In Focus." .

The payloads were deployed as scheduled about an hour after launch, Rocket Lab representatives said.

Today's launch was the fifth of 2020 for Electron and the 15th overall for the booster, which stands 57 feet (17 meters) tall!

Rocket Lab plans to start recovering and reusing Electron first stages relatively soon, a change that will allow higher launch frequencies, company founder and CEO Peter Beck has said. .

Get breaking space news and the latest updates on rocket launches, skywatching events and more


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