Rocket Lab to open test launch window

Published: Mon 15 May 2017 05:00 PM
Rocket Lab to open test launch window
Huntington Beach, California and Auckland, New Zealand May 15, 2017
Rocket Lab, an American-New Zealand aerospace company, will open a 10 day launch attempt window from 9am May 22, 2017, ahead of the first launch attempt of the company’s Electron rocket.
This ambitious endeavour to launch a vehicle into orbit has never been achieved from a private launch facility. The test launch, titled ‘It’s a Test’, will take place from Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 on the Māhia Peninsula, New Zealand.
The test launch attempt will only proceed if conditions are ideal for launch. Due to the nature of launching rockets, planned launches are often subject to multiple and subsequent postponements. History has shown it is common for launches to be scrubbed as small, technical modifications are often required, particularly during a test phase. Weather can also cause scrubs - winds and heavy rain will likely result in a postponement.
Peter Beck, Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab, said the test launch attempt will collect valuable data to inform future test and commercial launches.
“We are all incredibly excited to get to this point. Our talented team has been preparing for years for this opportunity and we want to do our best to get it right. Our number one priority is to gather enough data and experience to prepare for a commercial phase. Only then can we can start delivering on our mission to make space more accessible.
“During this first launch attempt it is possible we will scrub multiple attempts as we wait until we are ready and conditions are favorable”, said Beck.
This is the first of three test launches planned from Launch Complex 1 ahead of the commercial stage.
As part of the launch attempt, Māhia East Coast Road will be closed to the general public from 9am-8pm on May 22, 2017. Subsequent road closures will be notified following a decision to scrub a launch attempt.
Safety is of utmost concern to Rocket Lab and the public are asked to follow the instructions of emergency services and remain in safe areas during the test launch.
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Notes to Editors:
About Rocket Lab
Rocket Lab’s mission is to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit. Since its creation in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab has delivered a range of complete rocket systems and technologies for fast and affordable payload deployment.
In addition to New Zealand’s first orbital launch site located on the Māhia Peninsula, the company has operations in both Los Angeles and Auckland.
Rocket Lab is a private company, with major investors including Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Data Collective, Promus Ventures, Lockheed Martin and K1W1.
About Launch Complex 1
Rocket Lab’s Launch Complex 1 is located on the tip of the Māhia Peninsula, between Napier and Gisborne on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The complex is the first orbital launch site in New Zealand, and the first privately operated orbital launch site globally. The remote location of Launch Complex 1, particularly its low volume of air and marine traffic, is a key factor in enabling unprecedented access to space. The geographic position of the site means it is possible to access a large range of orbital azimuths – satellites launched from Māhia can be delivered to a wide range of inclinations to provide services across many areas around the world.
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