Rocket Lab achieved the first test flight of their innovative Electron rocket, named ‘It’s a test’ on 25 May 2017. Here we have collated media articles and…
Rocket Lab’s meteoric rise in the global space industry hit turbulence recently with its first operational mission loss. Meanwhile, questions continue over its launch of US intelligence satellites from NZ soil. Stuff reporter George Block sat down with co-founder and chief executive Peter Beck at the company’s Auckland factory. He also spoke to the company’s seed investor and former co-director Mark Rocket, who parted ways with the company in 2011 after it started taking defence contracts.
Rocket Lab is launching New Zealand's first aerospace engineering apprenticeship - fulfilling founder Peter Beck's long-held desire to help a "lost generation" of New Zealanders who have had scant trades-training opportunities. The Kiwi-American company's director of production, Jamie France, says: "A qualification like this didn't exist in NZ, so we created one and worked with Service IQ, our partners and specialists in aviation industry training, to develop the [NZQA] unit standards...
The American launch company that flies its rockets out of New Zealand has lost its latest mission. Rocket Lab said its Electron vehicle failed late in its ascent from Mahia Peninsula on North Island. All satellite payloads are assumed to have been destroyed. These included imaging spacecraft from Canon Electronics of Japan and Planet Labs Inc of California, as well as a technology demonstration platform from a UK start-up called In-Space Missions.
Every rocket has a failure at some point and this probably "hurts our pride more than anything", said Rocket Lab co-founder and chief executive Peter Beck of today's mission failure – the company's first after 12 successful flights. The good news is no one was hurt - the rocket burned up on re-entering the atmosphere on a safe trajectory after an anomaly occurred in late-stage flight after takeoff from the Mahia Peninsula launch pad this morning.
16 Feb 2020. Rocket Lab has won a $15.5 million Nasa contract to launch a small satellite to the moon next year. The tech company will send a satellite into the same lunar orbit targeted by Nasa for Gateway, an outpost to be used by astronauts before descending to the moon's surface. The Cislunar autonomous positioning system technology operations and navigation experiment (Capstone) is expected to be the first spacecraft to operate in a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon.
The launch of satellites for private companies that sell data to spy agencies raises fresh concerns about NZ’s fledgling space industry. A satellite on board Rocket Lab’s most recent mission will collect data for US spy agencies, among other customers. The satellite belongs to US private intelligence company BlackSky and raises “residual national interest risks”, the NZ Space Agency says. However these risks weren’t considered serious enough to decline approval for the launch.
Research Science and Innovation System Performance Report 2018 - NZ MBIE REPORT NZ is one of 11 countries currently able to launch satellites into space from their own territory. Rocket Lab has had many successes this year, helping to establish a growing space industry in NZ. Read their case study on page 36.
Small Satellites to Get their Own Ride to Space - NASA NEWS NASA is investing in a new commercial market that could answer the demand for affordable access to space for small satellites, including CubeSats. The agency’s Venture Class Launch Services brings together a smaller class of rockets with satellites small enough to hold in your hands.