'Pics or It Didn't Happen' Launch Takes Out Canon Satellite

July 6, 2020

The Californian company Rocket Lab ended a string of 11 successful rocket launches with a catastrophic failure about four minutes after its most recent payload lifted off from New Zealand.

There were seven small satellites on board to be put into orbit around the Earth, including Canon's CE-SAT-IB satellite camera. The detector inside of the 148lb (67kg) microsatellite is based on Canon's EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera design.

The 'Pics or It Didn't Happen' mission was set to launch earlier this year but ended up being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The July 4th launch event was live-streamed to a worldwide audience. Shortly after completing a successful lift-off, first stage burn, and stage separation, a Rocket Lab team member could be heard giving the orders 'initiating mishap response plan.'

Rocket Lab has several more rockets in queue and intends to send a different Canon satellite up later this year.

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