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Rocket Lab makes history with 1st successful commercial launch

Rocket Lab makes history with 1st successful commercial launch”

The aerospace company Rocket Lab has successfully launched an Electron rocket from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand on Sunday after several failed attempts, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported.

The Electron blasted off today from the company's private launch facility on the Māhia Peninsula in New Zealand at 2:43 p.m. local time, which is 8:43 p.m. EST on January 19 (0143 GMT). Rocket Lab had their first foray into space three years ago with the launch of the Atea-1 suborbital sounding rocket.

At full production, Rocket Lab expects to launch more than 50 times a year and is regulated to launch up to 120 times a year, more than any other commercial or government launch provider in history.

Japan's space agency, JAXA, plans to launch its own mini-rocket next month. When the web-cast shutdown, Electron Still Testing made orbit.

Rocket Lab aims to lower the cost of launching small satellites. 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. The successful launch has huge implications for the#Small Satellite market and for one company's dream for landing on the moon. Its Rutherford rocket engines are created by a 3D printing process.

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The Electron can carry up to about 225 kg of payload. It aims to develop a low-priced transportation system to allow customers to send payloads, first to the moon, and then to destinations throughout the solar system at an affordable price. Its goals go beyond winning a prize competition.

Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said reaching orbit on a test flight was significant but successfully deploying a customer payload so early in a new rocket programme was nearly "unprecedented".

"We're thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after our first test launch", Beck said.



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