To make this website work, we log user data. By using Shephard's online services, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including cookie policy.

Open menu Search

Space Force sticks with Rocket Lab despite curse of unlucky 13

28th July 2020 - 17:00 GMT | by Ian Parker in Portsmouth


Space payloads usually cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars and their loss can be a huge setback for their operators. Launcher reliability is often quoted in excess of 99.9%; that might sound excellent but any failure is problematic.

To get a reasonable fraction of the lift off mass into orbit, the systems, particularly the engines, have to be run close to failure. There is little margin for faults in either manufacture or assembly.

On 4 July, the 13th Electron mission from Rocket Lab failed after first-stage separation. The rocket was carrying an experimental imaging satellite built by Canon,

Already have an account? Log in

Want to keep reading this article?

Read this Article

Get access to this article with a Free Basic Account

  • Original curated content, daily across air, land and naval domains
  • 1 free story per week
  • Personalised news alerts
  • Daily and weekly newsletters
Create account

Unlimited Access

Access to all our premium news as a Premium News 365 Member. Corporate subscriptions available.

  • Original curated content, daily across air, land and naval domains
  • 14-day free trial (cancel at any time)
  • Unlimited access to all published premium news
Start your free trial
Ian Parker


Ian Parker

Ian Parker became an aerospace and defence journalist in 1980 on Flight International and started …

Read full bio

Share to