Rocket Lab's shares tank as latest mission ends abruptly

(Reuters) -Shares of Rocket Lab USA tumbled about 8% on Tuesday after the space company's latest mission failed about 2-1/2 minutes following launch due to an undisclosed issue.

The company said it would delay its next mission, which was scheduled before the end of the third quarter, and expects to revise its third-quarter revenue forecast in the coming days.

"We are working closely with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and supporting agencies as the investigation into the root cause commences," the company said.

Its Electron rocket was carrying satellites for American space tech company Capella Space, which provides radar and Earth observation technology.

Mission failures can be costly for smaller rocket companies as investigations into their causes can stretch for months.

Rocket Lab had in August projected third-quarter revenue of between $73 million and $77 million and adjusted operating loss of up to $14 million.

The company's stock has fallen about 60% since 2021-end, when space investments started drying up. As of last close, its market capitalization stood at $2.44 billion.

Capella Space said on Tuesday its Acadia-2 satellite was lost in the mission, but it would continue with further launches as planned.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala and Arsheeya Bajwa in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Sriraj Kalluvila)