Rocket Lab says ground equipment marred New Zealand launch

A California aerospace company says a rocket it launched from New Zealand last May did not reach orbit because a problem with ground equipment caused a loss of telemetry that forced range safety officials to terminate the flight.

Los Angeles-based Rocket Lab said Monday the investigation showed its Electron rocket was operating normally.

The rocket was launched May 25 from the Mahia Peninsula on New Zealand's North Island.

The flight was terminated when the rocket was at an altitude of 139 miles (224 kilometers).

Rocket Lab says the investigation determined there was an improper configuration in ground equipment that turns into data used by safety officials to monitor rocket performance.

The company says the equipment was owned and operated by a contractor.

A second is planned.

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