Published: Thu, May 25, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Test rocket launched into space from New Zealand pad

Test rocket launched into space from New Zealand pad

After several days of abortive attempts, Rocket Lab has made history in New Zealand by launching its carbon-composite Electron rocket into Earth orbit on Thursday, May 25.

USA aerospace company Rocket Lab has conducted a test launch of a rocket from Mahia Peninsula in Hawke's Bay today.

With a height of 17 meters and a diameter of 1.2 meters, and with 3D-printed engines, the Electron Rocket is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 225 kilograms, according to Rocket Lab, whose investors include Lockheed Martin Corp.

Under the right conditions today the aerospace company launched the rocket on the Mahia Peninsula.

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In a statement Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck says the objective of the launch is to collect valuable date to inform future test and commercial launches. We've worked tirelessly to get to this point.

The launch is the first time a rocket has been sent into orbit from a private facility, and makes New Zealand the 11th country where an orbital rocket has been launched.

Over the coming weeks, the team will analyse the data collected during the flight to refine and optimise the Electron.

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