Rocket Lab's launch vehicle ​Electron sits on the pad ​at Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 before the "It's Business Time" launch in 2018. Image provided by Rocket Lab.
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Pics or It Didn’t Happen: The Rocket Lab Launch of Five New SuperDoves


This June and July will be busy times for the Launch and Satellite Operations teams at Planet. In addition to the successful launch of three new SkySats this past Saturday (with three more launching this summer), we have another five SuperDoves (Flock 4e) launching on Rocket Lab’s “Pics or It Didn’t Happen” Electron launch later this month. It’ll be good to see our Doves back on New Zealand soil (at least temporarily), and we plan to have the pics to prove it.

Here is a SkySat image of the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 spaceport, which can be found on New Zealand’s North Island at the southern tip of the Māhia Peninsula. The image was collected on June 6, 2020. © 2020, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The first time we launched with Rocket Lab was with our Dove Pioneer satellite in January of 2018 on their “Still Testing” flight, which was their first launch to orbit. Rocket Lab has had an amazing track record of success since then, with 10 successful flights in a row and a lot of experience delivering customers to space.

The Flock 4e SuperDoves (fun fact: the “e” in “Flock 4e” stands for electron!) will lift off from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 Pad A in New Zealand and will be deployed into an altitude of approximately 500 km, morning-crossing Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) to join the rest of the in-orbit SuperDove fleet.

Rocket Lab's mission patch for the "Pics or It Didn't Happen" launch. Image credit: Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab’s mission patch for the “Pics or It Didn’t Happen” launch. Image credit: Rocket Lab

We never get tired of launches here at Planet, not only because they provide such a good show, but because we’re constantly launching next generation technologies to ensure that our customers are always getting access to the latest and greatest advancements in remote sensing. Stay tuned to the Planet Pulse blog and Planet’s Twitter account for the latest developments.