Spaceflight startup Rocket Lab will launch seven small satellites to orbit early tomorrow morning (June 27), and you can watch the action live.
A Rocket Lab Electron booster is scheduled to lift off from the company’s New Zealand launch site Thursday, during a two-hour window that opens at 12:40 a.m. EDT (0440 GMT; 4:40 p.m. local New Zealand time).
Tomorrow morning’s launch, which was procured via Seattle-based company Spaceflight, will be the third Electron liftoff of the year and the seventh overall.
Rocket Lab gives all of its missions a light-hearted name, and this one is called “Make It Rain” — a reference to Spaceflight’s famously damp home city. (New Zealand is pretty wet as well.)
Among the satellites going up tomorrow are two Prometheus craft, which will be operated by the United States Special Operations Command, and the ACRUX-1 cubesat from the Melbourne Space Program, an educational organization that aims to give Australian students hands-on experience with space projects.
The total payload mass on the launch is 176 lbs. (80 kilograms), Rocket Lab representatives said. The two-stage, 57-foot-tall (17 meters) Electron is capable of lofting about 500 lbs. (227 kg) to orbit on each $5 million liftoff.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 5:40 p.m. EDT to reflect the revised launch time of 12:40 a.m. EDT.
Mike Wall’s book about the search for alien life, “Out There” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.