Rocket Lab achieves orbit on historic launch from New Zealand

Rocket Lab to Attempt Second Launch as Early as Tonight

Before it can do that, however, Rocket Lab needs to complete its vehicle testing program, which could continue with a launch as early as Friday night.

On its second attempt this year, #Rocket Lab successfully launched three satellites into low #Earth Orbit on its Electron rocket from its New Zealand launch facility.

Rocket Lab aims to lower the cost of access to space, in a way parallel to, but distinct from, the mission of Elon Musk's SpaceX.

"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".

In its successful launch yesterday, the company initially said it had reached stage separation, before tweeting the rocket had successfully made it to orbit. Originally, the company had planned to do three flight tests, but Beck indicated that if this flight went well enough, Rocket Lab might skip the third test altogether.

Satellite payloads themselves are worth anywhere from $200,000 to "half a billion". Eventually, the plan is to launch much more frequently, perhaps more than 50 times a year, and this weekend's test flight is a big step toward making that happen.

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The first successful flight was carried out on 25 May past year.

The flight will be the company's second and will carry small Earth-imaging satellites for United States companies Planet Labs and Spire Global.

Although New Zealand-founded, Rocket Lab lists itself as an American company with headquarters at a wholly-owned New Zealand subsidiary. But there has been a great demand for small rockets that can carry tiny satellites. Rocket Lab's Electron is in response to this growing market. In May, the first Electron vehicle failed to reach orbit.

Moon Express's dream of a private lunar landing closer to reality.

"Electron is orbital. Successful payload deployment", the company tweeted.

"We'll become the second company in the world to have put something in orbit, and New Zealand the 11th nation", said company founder Peter Beck. Its smaller size is meant to increase affordability and launch flexibility for customers with smaller payloads. They're thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after their first test launch.

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