Rocket Lab, an American private aerospace company, has announced the upcoming resumption of rocket launches, suspended in connection with an investigation into the Electron rocket accident in early July. Just eight weeks after the incident, the company has scheduled a launch window for its next commercial mission, which will open for 12 days starting August 27.
In late July, it became known that Rocket Lab received permission from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to resume launch operations after an internal investigation that lasted about a month. An investigation with the participation of the FAA identified the cause of the accident as a failure of a component in the electrical network. Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck noted that the problem can be easily fixed with a relatively simple change in the manufacturing process. In addition, this component was replaced on all existing Electron launch vehicles.
Getting Rocket Lab permission to resume launches on such a tight schedule is due to the nature of the problem – the error actually led to an early but safe shutdown of the Electron engines, the rocket did not explode and did not pose a safety threat. Therefore, Rocket Lab was able to easily obtain data on the problem that caused the shutdown of the second stage engines.
For example, it took SpaceX four months to return to launches after the 2016 Falcon 9 explosion with the AMOS-6 telecommunications satellite on board. But that incident happened for completely different reasons.
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