Although SpaceX is the world's leading provider of commercial space flights – and is gaining a lot of attention – it is not the only private company to compete for a slice of the pie. Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab also offers commercial space flights, and its electron rocket has already delivered satellites to paying customers into space.
It was planned to launch an electron rocket again today, but the event was scrubbed at the last minute by a less cooperative Mother Nature. The launch, which would have been carried out from the company's launch facility in New Zealand, will be postponed.
The launch was scheduled at 9:29 pm EDT, however, it was announced a tweet by the company shortly before the scheduled launch the delay. The company notes that the winds at surface elevation were about 30 percent higher than the upper threshold for a rocket launch.
If the launch had gone as planned, the Electron missile would have delivered a total of more than 20,000 units to four satellites in Earth orbit. These satellites are part of contracts for clients such as Unseen Labs and Spaceflight, Inc.
The company plans to move ahead sooner rather than later. In the next few days there are more starting possibilities. When the rocket is finally sent to the sky, this is the eighth electron launch for Rocket Lab.
Unlike SpaceX, Rocket Lab is currently unable to recover and reuse its missiles, but that will change in the near future. The company has recently announced a roadmap for the reusability of its Electron launchers, which includes an airborne recovery operation in which a helicopter captures the first stage of the electron rocket before hitting the ground for future launches.