Rocket Lab Blames Flight Failure On Contractor

Huntington Beach-based Rocket Lab, a startup which is developing satellite launch technology, has placed the blame for its terminated test flight in May on a third party contractor. The company, which was forced to terminate its test flight four minutes into its flight, blamed "misconfiguration of telemetry equipment owned and operated by a third-party contractor" for loss of signal, at an altitude of 224 km. That loss of signal forced the company to terminate its test flight before the rocket reached orbit. Rocket Lab claimed its vehicle was "performing as planned at the time of termination." Rocket Lab specifically said that its contractor "failed to enable forward error correction on this third-party device" causing "extensive corruption of received position data." Rocket Lab is venture backed by Data Collective, Promus Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, K1W1, and others, and is led by CEO Peter Beck. The company said in March that its latest funding round values it at more than $1 billion.