back to article A bad day in New Zealand: Rocket Lab's 13th mission ends in failure

Upstart rocketeers at Rocket Lab had a bad weekend as the thirteenth launch of its Electron rocket ended in failure. The flight of the Electron on 4 July appeared to work at first, and the onboard cameras caught the first stage booster falling back to Earth. Viewers were then treated to the separation of the payload shroud, as …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    "the company abruptly stopped the feed shortly after."

    Is there a reason they don't want the public to see a mission failure?

    It is not like they should be embarrassed, space is hard and they are absolutely incredible for even attempting it. For most of us, our greatest accomplishment (err... an accepted pull request into the LLVM project? Haha, I'm lame) are so much less valuable compared even their biggest failure.

    Is it something sad like if a potential investor sees a bad failure, they will pull out all funding?

    1. JDPower

      SpaceX do exactly the same, along with the same "Carry on like nothing's happening" approach of the presenters/commentators. And yes, it's a PR thing. A failure is a little less public/embarrassing if there's no footage for people to see

      1. RM Myers Bronze badge
        Unhappy

        According to Rocket Lab, this wasn't a failure, it was an "anomaly".

        A failure is when another company's rocket doesn't work.

    2. JimC

      If the footage were just a passing thing that would be one thing, but a spectacular failure is going to be on a hundred internet videos for the next 40 years or something, and its easy to understand why people arem't keen to have the world repeatedly reminded of their failures.

    3. tony72

      I was watching at the time. The video stopped updating but the telemetry kept on going for a while, before they cut to the presenter. The video freezing bit didn't look intentional - it froze rather than cutting to a logo, and I think it may have stuttered a bit before freezing, not sure. So there was nothing to see anyway except the altitude readout going the wrong way.

      But yes, it seems to be standard practice for space companies to cut off the video feed in case of a failure. I guess they want the opportunity to analyse the failure themselves before the rest of the internet weighs in on it.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Failures can be catastrophic and the consequences devastating and some images cannot be unseen, doubly so with the internet, so this is standard practice. You can always release any unseen footage later but more important for investigations will be the telemetry and how forthcoming the company is with the data.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every little bit helps

    If they publish the bang live, they can't get their £200 from 'You've been framed' .

  3. Marketing Hack Silver badge

    So you could say that the Faraday project has been caged for now?

    Sorry, it's all I've got.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is a shame it failed this time. Good luck next time.

  5. Evil_Goblin

    I didn't catch sight of the altitudes involved when the stage starts flinging spent batteries everywhere, is that high enough to be a good idea?

  6. Miss_X2m1
    Thumb Up

    Canon's CE-SAT-IIB is ready for the next time.

    Canon's CE-SAT-IIB is ready for the next time.

  7. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Trollface

    4th of July fireworks

    Too many displays were canceled this year. Gotta get our fireworks somehow...

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