Rocket Lab successfully launches Electron from New Zealand to Earth orbit Video

Rocket Lab to Attempt Second Launch as Early as Tonight

Rocket Lab launches second successful flight

Rocket Lab, a spaceflight company with assets in the United States and New Zealand, is gearing up for the second launch of its Electron rocket.

In its successful launch yesterday, the company initially said it had reached stage separation, before tweeting the rocket had successfully made it to orbit.

Rocket Lab now has five Electron vehicles in production, with the next launch expected to take place in early 2018. But there has been a great demand for small rockets that can carry tiny satellites.

Founded by Peter Beck, a citizen of New Zealand, the Rocket Lab's journey into the commercial space market began 11 years ago.

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Rocket Lab had initially scheduled its second Electron test flight for December, but various issues (mainly weather) stopped the company from going ahead with launch. In the coming weeks Rocket Lab engineers will analyze the data from today's launch to inform future launches.

Then Rocket Lab also had some difficulty getting this second test flight off the ground.

Richard Easther, a professor of physics at the University of Auckland, told Stuff.co.nz that Sunday was a "red-letter day for New Zealand," thanks to the Electron's orbital success. 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.

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

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"Very nice launch. My heartiest congratulations to the Rocket Lab team".

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.

"Still Testing" was originally slated to blast off during a launch window in November of past year, but the launch was delayed after a power fault in the ground systems triggered an automatic abort just seconds before liftoff.

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