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Engadget

Rocket Lab will resume missions in August following launch failure


In its announcement, Rocket Lab said that it was able to gather the data it needs, because the vehicle was unharmed and was able to continue sending information to its ground team. It also explained that it wasn’t able to detect the issue before the flight, because the electrical connection remained secure throughout testing. However, its now knows that the issue can be avoided through additional tests. Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said in a statement:

“The issue occurred under incredibly specific and unique circumstances, causing the connection to fail in a way that we wouldn’t detect with standard testing. Our team has now reliably replicated the issue in test and identified that it can be mitigated through additional testing and procedures.” Read More

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The Verge

Researchers become their own lab rats with DIY coronavirus vaccine


Vaccine trials have had a weird week. First, there was the exhilarating kickoff of two massive clinical trials for vaccines created by Moderna and Pfizer. Each company is hoping to recruit 30,000 volunteers to test whether its vaccine is effective and safe. This is normal.

What’s not normal is a bunch of researchers in Boston who have decided to test a DIY coronavirus vaccine on themselves. At least 20 people have mixed together the vaccine and sprayed it up their noses as part of what they’re calling the Rapid Deployment Vaccine Collaborative (Radvac), according to a truly wild MIT Technology Review story from editor Antonio Regalado. Read More

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TechCrunch

Rocket Lab clear to launch again after first mission failure attributed to electrical fault – TechCrunch


Rocket Lab has received clearance to launch from the FAA following the failure of its Electron rocket on July 4 and the loss of the half-dozen satellites on board. “This was a very, very sneaky and tricky issue,” said CEO Peter Beck. “However, the issue is well understood by the team. We’re really looking forward to getting back on the pad.”

The failure, Beck explained on a call with press, was nowhere near as catastrophic as many such incidents are. While the payloads were lost in the vehicle’s uncontrolled descent, the rocket did not explode or break up suddenly as sometimes happens, but rather seems to have calmly shut itself down during the second stage burn due to “a single anomalous electrical connection.” Read More

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The Verge

Rocket Lab says it has approval to return to flight after losing a rocket during launch


Less than a month after Rocket Lab lost one of its vehicles during a mission, the small satellite launcher has approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to start launching its Electron rockets again. The company plans to launch its next rocket sometime in August from the company’s primary launch site in New Zealand.

On July 4th, Rocket Lab launched its 13th mission to space from New Zealand, carrying seven small satellites, most of which were designed to image the Earth from above. Just a few minutes into the flight, the engine on the upper portion of the Electron shut down too early, according to Rocket Lab. As a result, the rocket didn’t achieve orbit and fell back into Earth’s atmosphere where it burned up and destroyed all the satellites on board. Read More

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Mashable

Meet the robot lab assistant who works nonstop — Future Blink


The robot can be programmed to conduct tedious and time consuming experiments for scientists. Read more…

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The Verge

Robotic lab assistant is 1,000 times faster at conducting research


Researchers have developed what they say is a breakthrough robotic lab assistant, able to move around a laboratory and conduct scientific experiments just like a human.

The machine, designed by scientists from the UK’s University of Liverpool, is far from fully autonomous: it needs to be programmed with the location of lab equipment and can’t design its own experiments. But by working seven days a week, 22 hours a day (with two hours to recharge every night), it allows scientists to automate time-consuming and tedious research they wouldn’t otherwise tackle. Read More

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Engadget

Rocket Lab mission fails shortly after launch


The rocket had been carrying payloads for three customers, most notably Canon. It was supposed to be demonstrating an Earth imaging camera system ahead of plans for mass production. Planet was expanding its giant constellation of Earth observation satellites, while In-Space was launching its first cubesat mission as part of an initiative to help researchers and startups get payloads into orbit.

The loss comes after 11 consecutive successful Electron launches, including some with a relatively rapid turnaround. This isn’t the end, then, but it suggests that Rocket Lab may have work to do before it’s a completely reliable option for getting machines into space. Read More

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TechCrunch

Rocket Lab launch fails during rocket’s second stage burn, causing a loss of vehicle and payloads – TechCrunch


Rocket Lab’s ‘Pic or it didn’t happen’ launch on Saturday ended in failure, with a total loss of the Electron launch vehicle and all seven payloads on board. The launch vehicle experienced a failure during the second stage burn post-launch, after a lift-off from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 on Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

The mission appeared to be progressing as intended, but the launch vehicle appeared to experience unexpected stress during the ‘Max Q’ phase of launch, or the period during which the Electron rocket experiences the most significant atmospheric pressure prior to entering space. Read More

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Engadget

Watch Rocket Lab launch a Canon satellite into space at 5:19PM ET


Public fireworks shows may be in short supply this weekend due to the pandemic, but Rocket Lab is ready to fill the gap. It’s planning to launch its 13th mission, “Pics Or It Didn’t Happen,” from a complex on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 5:19PM Eastern with a livestream (below) available 15 minutes before takeoff. The launch window is open until 6:03PM Eastern. This is only the third Rocket Lab launch this year, due in no small part to the pandemic, and it includes some significant payloads. Read More

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TechCrunch

How to watch Rocket Lab launch satellites for Canon, Planet and more live – TechCrunch


Rocket Lab is launching a rideshare mission today which includes seven small satellites from a number of different companies, including primary payload provider Canon, which is flying a satellite equipped with the camera-maker’s Earth imaging technology, including high-res photo capture equipment. The Electron rocket that Rocket Lab is flying today will also carry five Planet SuperDove Earth-Observation satellites, as well as a CubeSat from In-Space missions.

The launch, which is named ‘Pics or It Didn’t Happen’ is set to take place during a window which opens at 5:19 PM EDT (2:19 PM PDT) and extends until 6:03 PM EDT (3:03 PM EDT), lifting off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. To check it out live, tune in directly via Rocket Lab’s website here – the live stream should begin around 15 minutes prior to the opening of the launch window. Read More