The two-stage Electron booster rose off the pad at Rocket Lab’s New Zealand launch site at 5:19 p.m. EST (0919 GMT; 9:19 p.m. local New Zealand time), carrying seven Earth-imaging satellites aloft, including five payloads for satellite-imaging company Planet, as well as a satellite for Canon Electronics and one for UK-based In-Space Missions. But a problem during the rocket’s second-stage engine burn led to the loss of all seven payloads.
The company will need to determine what caused the anomaly, as it has big plans for the future, including an upcoming mission to the moon. The company is slated to launch a cubesat to the moon in 2021 as part of a NASA contract worth $9.95 million. That flight is scheduled to launch from the company’s U.S.-based launch site at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.