Rocket Lab recently started conducting launch missions that reach higher altitudes. The company is conducting high altitude missions due to the fact that it is working towards launch missions that reach lunar orbit. In order to reach this goal, Rocket Lab is using both Electron rockets, the Photon payload platform and more in order to reach lunar orbits by the fourth quarter of 2020.
The company had an Electron rocket launch on October 17th that put a payload into orbit at 621 miles of altitude. This most recent launch was more than double the altitude of any previous mission by the company. Launches like this are part of the reason it believes it can achieve its 2020 goals, as the company is continuously refining and improving its process.
Image Credit: Sam Toms and Simon Moffat