Rocket Lab to resume launches from its New Zealand launch site in June

Rocket Lab will resume launches of its Electron small launch vehicle in June as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic ease at its New Zealand launch site.

The company announced May 28 it has rescheduled an Electron launch for June 11 local time from its launch site on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. That launch was previously scheduled for March 30 but postponed because of a lockdown imposed by the New Zealand government in response to the pandemic.

The announcement of the new launch date comes as New Zealand scales back its response to the pandemic. The country stepped down to Alert Level 2 of its response plan on May 29 (local time), allowing larger gatherings of people, as the country has reported only a handful of new cases of COVID-19 since the middle of the month. Rocket Lab said in its statement about the launch that it will continue to use “enhanced health and safety processes” for employees working on this launch, including physical distancing, split shifts and enhanced cleaning.

The launch, called “Don’t Stop Me Now” by the company, has the same set of payloads as what the company originally announced in March.