A Rocket Lab Electron Booster launches a quartet of satellites into orbit on Friday (August 16) and you can watch it live online.
The Electron missile is scheduled to take off the four satellites at 8:57 am EDT (1257 pm GMT) from Rocket Lab's launch site on the New Zealand Mahia Peninsula, where Saturday is at 00:57 local time.
"This will be another nice night start at LC-1!" Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab said in a Twitter update about the company's Launch Complex 1: "Should be visible for miles if it is in orbit against the night sky."
You can watch the rocket launch the lab on Space.com courtesy of Rocket Lab. You can also see the launch here directly from the Rocket Lab livestream website. The webcast will start about 1
Related: Rocket Lab's Wild Plan to Catch Falling Booster in the Air
The launch on Friday will be Rocket Lab's eighth mission and bears the whimsical name "Look Ma , no hands. " (The Huntington Beach, California-based company has chosen wild names for all launches.)
On this mission, Electron launches the first Cubesat for the French company UnseenLabs, to provide a constellation of small satellites. Sea surveillance of the Earth's oceans.
Rocket Lab will also launch the BlackSky Global-4 Earth Imaging Satellite, the second satellite Rocket Lab launched for Black Sky this year. (An electron launched BlackSky's Global-3 in June.)
The last two Cubesats aboard Electron are technology demonstration spacecraft built by the US Air Force Space Command's Pearl White program. They will serve as an "on-orbit test environment for emerging technologies in 2019," a statement by the Luftwaffe said. The launch of the BlackSky satellite and the Air Force Cubesats was arranged by the space travel center Spaceflight.
"The demonstration will test new technologies such as propulsion, performance, communication and resilience to potential applications in future spacecraft," Air Force officials said. The two satellites were built by Tiger Innovations Inc. of Herndon, Virginia, and are said to have a turnaround time of approximately one year.
Rocket Lab's Electron Booster is a two-stage rocket with a height of 15 meters. It's designed to carry payloads of up to 500 pounds. (227 kilograms) for each mission that Rocket Lab markets for $ 5 million per flight.
On "Look Ma, No Hands", Rocket Lab will be carrying an advanced data recorder called "Brutus" to collect data on the first stage of the electron as it falls back to Earth after disconnecting from the second stage. Rocket Lab will use the data collected by "Brutus" to support its new project in the reuse of electron amplifiers on multiple flights.
Rocket Lab announced its reusable Electron Booster Project last week at the Small Satellite Conference 2019 in Logan, Utah. As part of the plan, Rocket Lab is developing an air recovery system that can capture first-stage Electron boosters as they fall back to earth under a parachute. The boosters are then worked up and flown again on a future flight.
Correction: An earlier version of this story falsely stated that six satellites were on Rocket Lab's mission "Look Ma, No Hands." The mission actually carries four satellites.