Rocket Lab is the current brand-new area business to feel the effect of the global coronavirus pandemic: The small satellite launcher revealed on Tuesday that it would be suspending its next launch, a mission called ‘Do not Stop Me Now’ that was set to liftoff from Rocket Laboratory’s Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Mahia peninsula on March 30.
The launch is a rideshare objective that includes satellites from a variety of clients, including NASA, as well as the United States. Rocket Lab states that it has “the complete assistance of [its] clients in pausing operations,” and that it will be working with the New Zealand government and health authorities, as well as its clients, in figuring out a new timeframe for the mission, with the launch automobile and systems on the ground set to “stay in a state of preparedness for launch” for the time being.
Rocket Laboratory stated in its statement about the delay that it made this decision due to the New Zealand government’s March 23 announcement that it would be escalating its COVID-19 response to Level 4 since Wednesday March 25, which means everyone is expected to effectively remain at house, while all non-essential organisations are closed and occasions are cancelled.
The business, which was established in New Zealand and now keeps a headquarters in Los Angeles, also stated that it “applaud[s]” the choice to take this level of action in an effort to stop the spread, which its team is now working from house for the many part, with a couple of personnel considered to be important and staying on-site to guarantee site and mission security.
Rocket Lab also notes that despite pausing its production of new launch cars, it has taken an approach of preparing rockets and launch pads ahead of time in order to meet rapid-response requirements from its consumers, so it has a stock of automobiles prepared even with a production interruption.
Up until now, the COVID-19 crisis has impacted some launches but not others– SpaceX flew a Starlink objective last week, for instance, however will hold off a planned launch at end of March, while ULA seems on track to introduce a 6th high-frequency defense interactions satellite on behalf of the U.S. Space Force on Thursday.