Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Private Baikonur conducted the first launch of

Private Baikonur conducted the first launch of

Beck says its now scouting for a site in the United Kingdom, with one in Asia to possible follow - although he adds that its Mahia Peninsula facility will always be its highest-frequency launch facility by dint of its geography and our relatively empty skies and shipping lanes.

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket rises from its launch pad on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula.

While issues had delayed this launch for months, Sunday's event went off without a hitch.

Following the launch, Founder and CEO Peter Beck tweeted, "Perfect flight. We have proven it can be done". The space agency is using small satellites to advance exploration, demonstrate emerging technologies as well as conduct scientific research and educational investigations. It has the license to launch close to 120 rockets per year.

"We will be in space less than few months after making the decision to join the mission".

"We actually need to make money - and that has been a key focus from day one".

What is the rocket carrying?

Rocket Lab and a slew of other startups aim to change that by flying smaller, less powerful rockets.

The launch was commanded and monitored from the Mission Control Centre in Rocket Lab's new Mount Wellington factory, which was opened by Star Trek actor William Shatner and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern last month.

NASA has also embraced super small satellites. They're making shoebox-sized satellites for imaging, science missions and communications.

Private space company Rocket Lab successfully launched its first fully commercial rocket yesterday, moving one step closer to its goal of offering regular commercial access to orbit from a New Zealand launch site.

The private space race is heating up.

More about Rocket Lab and the future plans of the company, including a starting place in the United States, you can find here. This launch, however, did have to take the path of the Majestic Princess, one of the world's biggest cruise ships, into account as it was scheduled to briefly pass by the launchpad.

To date, Rocket Lab has raised US$148 million from investors betting that it could end up as the FedEx of space. It put into orbit on a commercial basis six small satellites. SpaceFlight Now reported the next launch will be somewhere between december 10 and december 18, 2018, citing sources with payloads on the rocket.

Saturday's launch will mark the third liftoff for the Electron. Rocket Labs' engineers have since redesigned the part.

The company has six Electron rockets in production and is said to have rapidly scaled up production at its California headquarters to meet ever-growing bookings for this year and next.

Beck says next year, there will be a ride-share flight about once a quarter to mop up smaller customers, but other flights will be each dedicated to a single larger satellite.

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