Small rocket company Rocket Lab aims for orbital reusability

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California-based Rocket Lab plans to make its orbital Electron rocket, pictured before a launch from New Zealand in June, reusable.

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 4 (UPI) — Small launch company Rocket Lab has a big agenda for the end of 2020, including plans for its first liftoff from U.S. soil and its first attempt to recover a first-stage booster after launch.

The California-based company, known for launching in New Zealand, is on target to tackle both goals this year, founder and CEO Peter Beck said in an interview Tuesday.

If Rocket Lab’s first launch from Virginia’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is successful, the company intends to launch regularly from that site.

“We have an agreement to fly 12 times a year from Virginia and we hope to fill those slots,” Beck said. “The pad and the integration facility will house multiple Electron rockets at the same time. Our facility there is designed for rapid response launches.”

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Rocket launch in New Zealand brings quick, cheap space access

  • Launch sends Rocket Lab to lead in global space competition
  • Six satellites carried into low orbit from sheep farm launchCheap, quick access to space has officially arrived — and in some serious style.On a late Sunday afternoon in New Zealand, Rocket Lab successfully launched its third rocket. Dozens of employees gathered at the company’s headquarters in Auckland clad in Rocket Lab’s black-and-red colors and let out a series of primordial screams as the rocket took off, flew into space and dropped its satellite payload into orbit. Continue reading… “Rocket launch in New Zealand brings quick, cheap space access”

Rocket Lab readies its first commercial launch

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Rocket Lab’s Electron booster stands on the launchpad during testing

Following a successful January test launch that saw its Electron booster reach orbit for the first time, Rocket Lab is now getting down to business. The US-based private space firm and its wholly owned New Zealand-based subsidiary have announced plans to go ahead with its first fully commercial mission, with the launch window to open later this month.

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