Space Startup Rocket Lab Has Reached Orbit For the First Time
22 January 2018, 02:17 | Virginia Benson
Rocket Lab launches second successful flight
A range of government agencies, led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), are supporting Rocket Lab's test launch activities to ensure they are safe and secure.
California-based company Rocket Lab said its Electron rocket Still Testing, which carried only a small payload of 150 kilograms, deployed an earth imaging satellites and two others for weather and ship tracking after blast-off from the Mahia Peninsula. "Rocket Lab was founded on the principal of opening access to space to better understand our planet and improve life on it".
"There's much more to this mission than meets the eye and we'll make an announcement about that in the next couple of days".
A United States venture firm, Rocket Lab, has put 3 small satellites into orbit.
Rocket Lab said previously that the results of the "Still Testing" launch, if the rocket "performs nominally", may cause the company to accelerate the Electron program into commercial use.
Mr Beck said the company was thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after its first test launch.
Satellite payloads themselves are worth anywhere from $200,000 to "half a billion".
The flight will be the company's second and will carry small Earth-imaging satellites for U.S. companies Planet Labs and Spire Global. When the web-cast shutdown, Electron Still Testing made orbit. Operators of tiny satellites don't have many options to get to space, and typically have to hitch rides on launches of much bigger probes.
This is just the second test flight for Rocket Lab'sElectron rocket. The successful launch has vast implications for the#Small Satellite market and for one company's dream for landing on the moon.
Nine Rutherford main engines consuming kerosene fuel through battery-powered turbopumps powered the rocket on a southerly trajectory, through a thin layer of clouds, and into the stratosphere, before an upper stage engine took over to give the rocket enough speed to reach orbit around Earth.
Moon Express's dream of a private lunar landing closer to reality. Participants have to complete their lunar excursions before March 31st, 2018 in order to win the grand prize money.
And that means Rocket Lab can finally start launching the payloads of its long customer lineup, which includes NASA, Spaceflight, and more.
Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said the launch marked the beginning of a new era in commercial access to space.
Rocket Lab now has five Electron vehicles in production, with the next launch expected to take place in early 2018.
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