Watch RocketLab's Electron rocket launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia - FOX 5 DC

1 week ago 29

Published January 24, 2023 1:57PM

Updated 6:30PM

First launch of Electron rocket out of NASA's Wallops Island, VA Facility

Rocket Lab debut launch from NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia Facility. This is the moment in which the The first launch of an Electron rocket out of the USA, HawkEye 360. Courtesy Rocket Lab's YouTube Stream.

The first launch of an Electron rocket out of the USA took place out of NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia facility at about 6 p.m. ET on January 24th. The launch was originally scheduled for Monday night but was canceled due to weather.

NASA prepares for Virginia rocket launch

People along the East Coast are in for a show on Monday evening, as a rocket launch happening at Wallops Island, Virginia will be visible to much of the coast. FOX 5's David Kaplan explains how you can see the launch.

The first Electron launch from the United States Tuesday was enabled by NASA’s work in developing the NASA Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU). NASA believes that NAFTU is a critical piece of flight safety technology required for this mission. 

The launch Tuesday was the first-ever flight utilizing the NAFTU flight safety system.

"In taking NAFTU across the finish line, NASA has delivered an autonomous flight termination system like no other in operation today filling a critical gap in modernizing our nation’s launch ranges," said David L. Pierce, Wallops Flight Facility director in a statement. "We’re proud to have made this and future U.S. Rocket Lab Electron launches possible with our game-changing flight safety technology."

Electron is a rocket type made by New Zealand-based Rocket Lab. The 59-foot-tall Electron rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island. 

The mission, named "Virginia is for Launch Lovers," will deploy radio frequency monitoring satellites for HawkEye 360, NASA said.

You can view the full launch video via RocketLab's website or RocketLab's YouTube channel

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