Watch RocketLab's Electron rocket launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

Watch RocketLab’s Electron rocket launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

The first launch of an Electron rocket from the US took place from NASA’s Wallops Island, Virginia facility at approximately 6 pm ET on January 24. The launch was originally scheduled for Monday night, but was canceled due to weather.

Electron’s first launch from the United States on Tuesday was made possible by NASA’s work developing the NASA Autonomous Flight Termination Unit (NAFTU). NASA believes that NAFTU is a critical piece of the flight safety technology required for this mission.

Tuesday’s launch was the first flight to use the NAFTU flight safety system.

“By bringing NAFTU to the finish line, NASA has delivered an autonomous flight termination system like no other in operation today, filling a critical gap in our nation’s launch range modernization,” David said. L. Pierce, director of the Wallops Flight Facility in a statement. “We are proud to have made this and future US Rocket Lab Electron launches possible with our innovative flight safety technology.”

Electron is a type of rocket manufactured by New Zealand-based Rocket Lab. The 59-foot-tall Electron rocket blasted off from Launch Complex 2 at Virginia Space’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island.

The mission, called “Virginia is for Launch Lovers,” will deploy radio frequency monitoring satellites for HawkEye 360, NASA said.

You can view the full launch video via the RocketLab website or the RocketLab YouTube channel.

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