Rocket Lab Successfully Launches First Mission of 2021

"Another One Leaves the Crust" mission launched the Electron rocket carrying a German satellite.
Fabienne Lang
Rocket Lab launchRocket Lab/Twitter

On Wednesday night, New Zealand space company, Rocket Lab, launched its Electron rocket carrying a communications satellite for OHB, a German company focusing on aerospace, aviation, and defense.

This marked the company's first launch of the year, and the start of its 18th overall mission, called "Another One Leaves the Crust." Electron took off from Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 at the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand at 07:26 PM local time (02:26 AM EST).  


About 70 minutes after liftoff, Electron released OHB Group's GMS-T satellite into orbit. Rocket Lab explained that GMS-T "will be a single communication microsatellite that will enable specific frequencies to support future services from orbit."

The single communication satellite "will enable specific frequencies to support future services to orbit," as wrote Rocket Lab

OHB's microsatellite is typical for Rocket Lab's rockets, which launch smaller satellites, compared with SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, which focus on bigger payloads.

Rocket Lab has exciting plans ahead and hopes to eventually reuse its rocket boosters by catching them mid-air using helicopters and parachutes — a tactic it tried out in November last year. It's also not the only company thinking outside the box in terms of launches and recoveries, Virgin Orbit launched its rocket mid-air off of a remodeled 747-400 plane on Monday.

Rocket Lab posted updates on Twitter throughout the launch, as well as streamed its live launch on YouTube, check these out below. 


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