Rocket Lab: Changing the space game

Rocket Lab is a rapidly growing aerospace company with its sights set on removing the barriers to commercial space.

Rocket Lab offers affordable, high-frequency launches of small satellites to low Earth orbit from right here in Hawke's Bay on the Mahia Peninsula.

Founded in 2006 by New Zealander Peter Beck, Rocket Lab has redefined how we access space with the creation of the Electron rocket, a lightweight carbon-composite orbital launch vehicle powered a world-first 3D printed propulsion system.

Reaching space has traditionally been a prohibitively expensive exercise, with launches costing upwards of US $60 million. Rocket Lab’s Electron is capable of launching satellites of up to 225kg into low earth orbit at a much reduced cost closer to US $5 million - which will be transformative for the emerging small-satellite market.

Satellites launched by Rocket Lab will be used to provide vital data that will change our understanding of Earth and our impact on it. Small satellite applications include optimised crop monitoring, improved weather reporting, internet from space, natural disaster prediction, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services.

On May 25, 2017, Rocket Lab successfully launched its first Electron rocket, named 'It’s a Test'. More test launches are planned for late 2017 and at full production Rocket Lab expects to launch more than 50 times a year.

Due to safety requirements and the high likelihood of postponed launches during the test phase, launches are not open for public viewing at present, however, Rocket Lab makes launch videos available at Follow @RocketLab on Twitter for latest launch updates.

Throughout the test phase Wairoa District Council is evaluating potential locations for viewing areas and will inform arrangements for viewing during the commercial phase.