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Rocket Lab Delays Electron Launch for US Air Force

A Rocket Lab Electron booster stands poised to launch three experimental satellites for the U.S. Air Force from the company's New Zealand pad on May 4, 2019 local time. That day's attempt was called off to perform additional payload checks.
A Rocket Lab Electron booster stands poised to launch three experimental satellites for the U.S. Air Force from the company's New Zealand pad on May 4, 2019 local time. That day's attempt was called off to perform additional payload checks.
(Image: © Rocket Lab via Twitter)

Rocket Lab has called off Saturday morning's (May 4) launch of three experimental satellites for the U.S. Air Force to conduct additional payload checks.

The liftoff of Rocket Lab's Electron booster had been scheduled to take place from the company's New Zealand launch site during a four-hour window that opened at 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT; 6 p.m. local New Zealand time) on Saturday.

The next available launch opportunity is Sunday (May 5), at the same times outlined above, company representatives said.

Related: In Photos: Rocket Lab and Its Electron Booster

The mission, known as STP-27RD, will deliver two cubesats and one larger satellite, all of them research-and-development craft, to Earth orbit for the Air Force's Space Test Program.

You can learn more about each satellite and the STP-27RD mission in our launch preview story here. The mission, called "That's a Funny Looking Cactus," is Rocket Lab's second Electron launch of 2019 and the fifth orbital flight of the small-satellite launching vehicle overall.

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