Rocket Lab is launching its ninth Electron rocket today, with the launch set for 00:41 UTC (8:41 PM ET/5:41 PM PT) [Update: They’re now targeting 01:22 UTC (9:22 PM ET/6:22 PM PT)]. The mission, called “As The Crow Flies,” will be taking off from the company’s LC-1 launchpad in New Zealand, carrying a payload from Astro Digital to orbit.
The launch was actually supposed to take a different spacecraft up to low Earth Orbit, but the payload was swapped late last month – an unusual move for a rocket launch, and one that Rocket Lab is using to demonstrate the flexibility of its commercial service model. Rocket Lab’s other customer had a delay, and Astro Digital was ready to send up one of its ‘Corvus’ imaging satellites, so it got to move up the timing of its launch as a result.
Rocket Lab is currently on track to launch as planned, and the launch stream for the mission will be live above starting at around 20 minutes out from the T-0 launch window.