Weather delays Rocket Lab's first flight from Virginia

Electron is now scheduled to launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility next year after upper-level winds have forced officials to delay the mission. The rocket will deploy satellites for HawkEye 360. Rocket Lab is calling its first U.S. launch "Virginia is for Launch Lovers."

WALLOPS, Va. – Weather has once again delayed the launch of Rocket Lab's first U.S. Electron launch. 

"Continued strong upper-level winds tomorrow have ruled out the final day of the launch window for our 1st mission," Rocket Lab tweeted about Tuesday's possibility. 

Rocket Lab says that their team and rocket are ready, and they have scheduled a new window in January for the Virginia launch. 

Electron's first launch from Launch Complex 2 was originally slated for Friday and then moved again to Sunday, where they called it off due to upper-level winds once again. 

Rocket Lab is the latest company to join a growing number of spaceflight operators blasting off up and down the U.S. East Coast.

Rocket Lab has been launching from New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula since 2017. Electron now has a second home at the Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport within NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

When it happens, the rocket will deploy satellites for geoanalytics provider HawkEye 360.

Rocket Lab has dubbed the mission "Virginia is for Launch Lovers" as an ode to the company's first launch from the state. With two operational launch pads in New Zealand, Rocket Lab is headquartered in Long Beach, California, and building a manufacturing facility at Wallops for its Neutron rocket. 

"It feels great to be at this point," Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told reporters this week. "Obviously, it’s been a long road."

Beck said delays from the coronavirus pandemic provided challenges for the space company working toward its first U.S. launch. 

"The rocket is ready, and on the pad, the team is ready, and it’s time to fly," Beck said. 


With everything for a successful launch lined up, Beck said only a few steps remain in the way of the official "go" for launch, including a good launch forecast and the final paperwork from NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration. 

"It wouldn’t be a rocket launch without tricky weather," Beck said.