Rocket Lab investigation into failed mission
Rocket Lab experienced its first mission failure on July 5 after 12 successful launches.
The electron rocket launched fine, but shut itself off before reaching orbit
“Due to the controlled way the engine shut down, Rocket Lab continues to receive telemetry from the vehicle, providing engineers with extensive data to conduct a robust investigation into the issue”, the company said in its statement on Saturday.
They have been able to narrow down the issue to a single anomalous electrical connection.
“The connection was intermittently secure through flight, creating increasing resistance that caused heating and thermal expansion in the electrical component.
This caused the surrounding potting compounds to liquefy, leading to the disconnection of the electrical system and subsequent engine shut down”, Rocket Lab explained.
The problem was not detected in the pre-launch testing and has not come up before.
Rocket Lab crafts do not carry people, so no one was hurt in the accident.