VIDEO: Rocket Lab launch snapped in Tauranga

The 50th Electron mission, deploying satellites for French Internet-of-Things (IoT) company Kinéis, snapped on camera going over Tauranga at 6.15am on Friday, June 21. Photo: NightKiwi Photography.

A Tauranga photographer has snapped the moment satellites for a French internet company passed over Tauranga.

The photo above, taken by Dan from NightKiwi Photogrpahy, was taken at 6.15am on Friday, June 21 - two minutes after the rocket was launched from the Mahia pad in New Zealand.

Today's launch is Rocket Lab 50th Electron mission, this time deploying satellites for French Internet-of-Things (IoT) company Kinéis.

Electron has reached the milestone of 50 launches faster than any commercially developed rocket in history, says Rocket Lab in a statement released today.

The ‘No Time Toulouse’ mission lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand at 6.13am on June 21 NZST (6.13pm, June 20, UTC), successfully deploying five satellites to a 635 km circular orbit.

The mission was the first of five dedicated Electron launches for Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the French government’s space agency CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites), an international space-based solutions provider, to improve global IoT connectivity.

The Kinéis constellation is designed to make it possible to connect and locate any connected object anywhere in the world, enabling data transmission to users in near-real time, at low bit rates and with very low energy consumption.

By enabling internet connection to the Earth’s most remote locations, Kinéis constellation can support forest fire detection, water resource management, infrastructure and energy network monitoring, transport and logistics tracking, and much more.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck says when Electron lifted off the pad for the first time in 2017, they knew they’d unlocked a new era in spaceflight, one where small satellites got to call the shots for the first time with frequent, tailored and reliable access to orbit.

"Fifty launches later Electron is the most successful commercial small rocket globally. Making it to 50 launches faster than any commercially developed rocket in history is testament to the incredible team we have behind us.

"Today’s precise, tailored mission for Kinéis is yet another demonstration of the value Electron continues to provide to the small sat community.

"Congratulations to our team and thank you to our customers and supporters for helping us continue to break records and set new industry standards."

Across 50 launches Rocket Lab has now deployed 190 satellites for a diverse range of customers and missions, including NASA missions to the Moon, the National Reconnaissance Office and Space Force missions supporting national security and defense, scientific research to combat climate change, and commercial constellations providing vital data and services to millions of people on Earth.

1 comment

not "over" Tauranga

Posted on 25-06-2024 17:26 | By Darren

The rockets don't actually go "over" Tauranga because they take off from Mahia Peninsula and head away from us in a South-Easterly direction. However the night-time launches are often*visible* from Tauranga.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to make a comment.