Small satellites launch service provider Rocket Lab’s Electron mission has failed to reach orbit after experiencing a problem mid-flight.

Taking place on 4 July, the ‘Pics Or It Didn’t Happen’ mission is the 13th Electron mission for the company.

The anomaly took place nearly four minutes into the flight after a successful lift-off, first stage burn, and stage separation.

This has led to the safe loss of the vehicle and non-deployment of payloads onboard Electron to orbit.

Meanwhile, personnel or the launch site faced no harm as Electron stayed in the predicted launch corridors.

The company and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will investigate the anomaly and detect its root cause.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said: “We are deeply sorry to our customers, Spaceflight, Canon Electronics, Planet, and In-Space Missions, for the loss of their payloads.

“We know many people poured their hearts and souls into those spacecraft. Today’s anomaly is a reminder that space launch can be unforgiving, but we will identify the issue, rectify it, and be safely back on the pad as soon as possible.

“The launch team operated with professionalism and expertise to implement systems and procedures that ensured the anomaly was managed safely.

“I’m proud of the way they have responded to a tough day. We’re working together as a team to comb through the data, learn from today, and prepare for our next mission.”

The company noted that more than eight Electron vehicles are currently in production.

In February, Nasa selected Rocket Lab for the launch of the 55lb CubeSat onboard its Electron rocket from the space agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.