Rocket Lab has moved the launch of the CAPSTONE mission from Wallops to their alternate launch site in New Zealand. The mission was scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter this year.
The move from Complex 2 at Wallops to New Zealand was made necessary because the Flight Safety System at Wallops still needs to be certified which is expected to occur by the end of the year.
According to a statement from Wallops, “NASA is developing, testing and certifying it’s NASA Autonomous Flight Termination Unit, a game-changing command and control system for small launch vehicle providers, for use at all U.S. launch ranges to ensure public safety during launch operations.
The statement continues that NASA is actively working with the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force, the FAA, and NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation Facility to ensure the system’s performance.