Watch Rocket Lab launch its Electron vehicle for the 50th time today

Rocket Lab - 'No Time Toulouse' Launch - YouTube Rocket Lab - 'No Time Toulouse' Launch - YouTube
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Rocket Lab plans to launch its Electron vehicle for the 50th time today (June 20), and you can watch the milestone moment live.

An Electron rocket topped with five small satellites for the French Internet of Things (IoT) company Kinéis is scheduled to lift off from Rocket Lab's New Zealand site today at 2:13 p.m. EDT (1816 GMT; 6:13 a.m. local New Zealand time on June 21). 

Rocket Lab will webcast the launch live, beginning 30 minutes before liftoff. will carry the feed, courtesy of Rocket Lab.

Rocket Lab calls today's mission "No Time Toulouse," a nod to the French city in which Kinéis is based.

If all goes according to plan, the five satellites will be deployed into low Earth orbit, 395 miles (635 kilometers) above Earth. They're the first members of Kinéis' planned 25-satellite IoT constellation, the other 20 of which will also go up on Electron rockets.

"Kinéis’ new constellation will connect any object anywhere in the world and guarantee the transmission of targeted and useful data to users, in near-real time, with low energy consumption with more powerful 30kg-class [66 pounds] nanosats that integrate IoT technology," Rocket Lab wrote in a mission description.

"The constellation also includes a second mission: a ship-tracking Automatic Identification System (AIS)," the company added. "Once deployed, these technologies will allow Kinéis to expand across multiple industries and scale from 20,000 devices connected to millions."

The 59-foot-tall (18 meters) Electron debuted in May 2017, on a test flight that ended in failure. The rocket has flown 48 orbital missions to date, 44 of which have been successful. 

Electron's suborbital variant, known as HASTE ("Hypersonic Accelerator Suborbital Test Electron") also has one mission under its belt, a successful test flight that launched in June 2023.

If all goes according to plan, Electron's 50th flight will come seven years and one month after its debut — even faster than SpaceX's Falcon 9, which took seven years and nine months to hit the 50 mark. The Falcon 9 has ramped up the pace considerably since then, of course; it has already launched more than 60 times in 2024.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.