Rocket Lab Successfully Reaches Orbit and Deploys Payloads

Rutherford Engine – via Rocket Lab

Rutherford Engine – via Rocket Lab

It was the second test flight of Rocket Lab's commercially-developed Electron booster, which is sized to haul up to 330 pounds (150 kilograms) into sun-synchronous orbit 300 miles (500 kilometers) above Earth.

The Rocket Lab test launch of its second Electron rocket, called Still Testing, was close to lift off yesterday when it had to abort take off thanks to reports of two stray vessels in the area.

Rocket Lab's chief executive Peter Beck said today's launch ushers in a new era of access to space.

Following successful first and second stage burns, Electron reached orbit and deployed customer payloads at 8 minutes and 31 seconds after lift-off.

The rogue boatie who foiled a third rocket launch attempt at Mahia Peninsula will not be charged, police say.

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.

The company launched its Electron rocket for the first time in May and reached space but not orbit.

Rocket Lab aims to lower the cost of launching small satellites.

Still Testing will carry small Earth-imaging satellites for United States companies Planet Labs and Spire Global.

Rocket Lab's commercial phase will see Electron fly already-signed customers including NASA, Spire, Planet, Moon Express and Spaceflight. It is a privately funded company with investors including Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, DCVC (Data Collective), Lockheed Martin, Promus Ventures and K1W1.

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