Rocket Lab Shares Sink After Rocket Failure

Rocket Labs launches rocket.

Joseph Baxter / Rocket Lab

Key Takeaways

  • Rocket Lab's latest space mission failed two-and-a-half minutes into launch, and shares tumbled.
  • CEO Peter Beck said the company will find what caused the problem, fix it, and resume flights.
  • Rocket Lab indicated that its next planned launch will be delayed, and it will give revised current quarter revenue guidance.

Shares of Rocket Lab USA (RKLB) plunged and were down 8% as of 12:45 p.m. Eastern after the satellite delivery company’s latest rocket malfunctioned and the company indicated the mishap will delay its next launch.

Rocket Lab reported its Electron rocket failed following a successful liftoff from its New Zealand launch pad and first-stage burn and stage separation. An issue at approximately two-and-a-half minutes into the flight resulted “in the end of the mission," the company said.

Rocket Lab noted the Electron had previously delivered 171 satellites on 37 orbital missions.

CEO Peter Beck apologized to Capella Space, which lost its radar imaging satellite tweeting, the “team is already working on root cause. We’ll find it, fix it, and be back on the pad quickly.”

Rocket Lab said that its next flight, currently scheduled for the end of this quarter “will be postponed until we implement corrective action.” The company added that it plans to provide revised third-quarter revenue guidance "in the coming days."

Despite Tuesday’s decline, shares of Rocket Lab remained higher for 2023.



Do you have a news tip for Investopedia reporters? Please email us at
Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Rocket Lab USA. "Rocket Lab Launch Update."

  2. X. "@Peter_J_Beck, 3:56 a.m., Sept. 19, 2023."

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.