A Rocket Lab Electron rocket will launch four small satellites into orbit on Monday, Aug. 19, and you will be able to watch it live here. Liftoff is scheduled for 8:12 a.m. EDT (1212 GMT) at Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The local time at launch will be 12:12 a.m. on Saturday.
Rocket Lab's webcast will begin in a window above 15 minutes before launch time. That's about 7:57 a.m. EDT (1157 GMT). The company has a 100-minute window for today's launch.
This flight, called "Look Ma, No Hands," will be the eighth flight of an Electron booster. A Friday launch attempt was delayed due to high winds.
It will carry a maritime surveillance cubesat for the French company UnseenLabs, three cubesats under a rideshare brokered by the company Spaceflight. Those Spaceflight payloads include the BlackSky Global-4 imaging satellite and two cubesats for the U.S. Air Force Space Command to test new space technologies.
Huntington Beach, California. 22 July, 2019 – Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has today announced its next launch is a mission carrying satellites destined to begin a new constellation for UNSEENLABS, as well as more rideshare payloads for Spaceflight, consisting of a spacecraft for BlackSky and the United States Air Force Space Command.
The mission – named ‘Look Ma, No Hands’ – will lift-off in August from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying a total of four satellites aboard an Electron launch vehicle.
Rocket Lab’s Senior Vice President of Global Launch Services, Lars Hoffman, says Rocket Lab’s ability to deploy multiple satellites to individual and precise orbits, even when flying as part of a rideshare mission, is a significant advantage for small satellite constellation operators.
“Our focus is on providing a frequent, reliable and precise launch service, whether small satellite constellation operators want to fly as a dedicated payload or as part of a rideshare mission,” says Mr. Hoffman. “Rocket Lab’s innovative Kick Stage enables a level of flexibility and precision that simply wasn’t available to small satellite operators until Electron began orbital launches 18 months ago. We’re proud to be delivering that service to orbit every few weeks now.”
The mission is manifested with a CubeSat that will form the cornerstone of a new maritime surveillance constellation for French company UNSEENLABS. The constellation aims to deliver precise, reliable, and secure maritime data, enabling organizations to monitor their own vessels and observe those that present risks, such as pirates and illegal vessels.
Mission management and rideshare aggregator, Spaceflight, also manifested three satellites on its second rideshare mission with Rocket Lab. Among the rideshare payloads is BlackSky’s Global-4 Earth-imaging satellite. The satellite will join BlackSky Global-3, which was launched to low Earth orbit on an Electron vehicle in June 2019. BlackSky’s constellation delivers rapid-revisit satellite imagery to assist with monitoring economic activity such as crop development and herd migration, or surveying damage following natural disasters.
The final spacecraft manifested on the mission are two experimental satellites for the United States Air Force Space Command, designed to test new technologies including propulsion, power, communications, and drag capabilities for potential applications on future spacecraft.
The mission will be Rocket Lab’s eighth Electron launch overall and fourth mission of 2019, following on from the successful ‘Make It Rain’ mission for Spaceflight in late June. Rocket Lab has monthly missions scheduled for the remainder of 2019 for government and commercial small satellites.
Live HD Views of Earth from Space
You can watch live, high-definition views of Earth from the International Space Station thanks to NASA's High Definition Earth Viewing experiment (HDEV). This live video provides alternating views from four of the station's external cameras nearly 24/7, with the exception of regular and temporary dropouts that occur when the station switches its connection between different communications satellites. Watch it live in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV.
"Behold, the Earth! See live views of Earth from the International Space Station coming to you by NASA's High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment.
"While the experiment is operational, views will typically sequence through the different cameras. If you are seeing a black image, the Space Station is on the night side of the Earth. If you are seeing an image with text displayed, the communications are switching between satellites and camera feeds are temporarily unavailable. Between camera switches, a black & gray slate will also briefly appear.
"The experiment was activated on April 30, 2014 and is mounted on the External Payload Facility of the European Space Agency’s Columbus module. This experiment includes several commercial HD video cameras aimed at the Earth which are enclosed in a pressurized and temperature controlled housing. To learn more about the HDEV experiment, visit: https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/ESRS/HDEV/
"Please note: The HDEV cycling of the cameras will sometimes be halted, causing the video to only show select camera feeds. This is handled by the HDEV team, and is only scheduled on a temporary basis. Nominal video will resume once the team has finished their scheduled event."
'ISS Live!' Tune in to the International Space Station
Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the "ISS Live" broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.
"Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During 'loss of signal' periods, viewers will see a blue screen.
"Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below."