(Reuters) – Shares of Rocket Lab USA slumped around 26% in premarket trading on Tuesday after the space company’s latest mission ended about 2-1/2 minutes following launch due to an undisclosed issue.

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

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

Mission failures weigh heavily on smaller rocket companies that carry payloads for space exploration startups. Virgin Orbit, founded by billionaire Richard Branson, filed for bankruptcy in April after its rocket failed to reach orbit in January.

Rocket Lab’s stock has fallen around 60% since 2021-end, when space investments started drying up. As of last close, its market capitalization stood at $2.44 billion.

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

Capella Space did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Rocket Lab said last week it signed a deal for four launches with defense contractor Leidos, scheduled across 2024 and 2025.

(Reporting by Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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