Launch Of Electron Rocket From New Zealand Postponed Over COVID-19 - Developer

Launch of Electron Rocket From New Zealand Postponed Over COVID-19 - Developer

US private aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab has postponed the launch of its Electron rocket from New Zealand, as local authorities have restricted the activity of businesses as part of measures to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said in a press release

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 25th March, 2020) US private aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab has postponed the launch of its Electron rocket from New Zealand, as local authorities have restricted the activity of businesses as part of measures to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said in a press release.

"In response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, we have paused launch preparations for our next mission to protect the health and safety of Rocket Lab team members, our families, and the wider community. The mission was scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand on 30 March UTC. Launch preparations have been paused, however, following the New Zealand Government's announcement on 23 March ... to implement the Level 4 COVID-19 response which requires most businesses to close and instructs people to stay at home," the press release read.

New Zealand has confirmed 205 COVID-19 cases so far with no fatalities.

The Electron rocket was supposed to bring several satellites to orbit, in particular NASA's ANDESITE, three satellites of the US National Reconnaissance Office, and Australia's M2 Pathfinder.

The global outbreak of the coronavirus disease has caused mass delays of space launches. In mid-March, Arianespace announced that preparations for rocket launches from the Kourou Cosmodrome in French Guiana, including the launch of Russian Soyuz-ST rocket, had been suspended. The launch of the Indian GSLV rocket with the GISAT-1 satellite, planned for mid-March, also did not take place. In addition, UK company OneWeb said that the next launches of its satellites by Russian Soyuz rockets would be postponed, and private US aerospace manufacturer SpaceX also delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 carrier rocket with the Argentine SAOCOM satellite indefinitely.

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