You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rocket Lab announces NZ launch window

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 14/05/2017

Private aerospace company Rocket Lab says it's about to try to launch an orbital rocket from New Zealand.

The US-owned, Kiwi company has announced that it will attempt to launch its two-stage Electron rocket from its private Mahia Peninsula facility, between Gisborne and Napier, some time in the 10 days from May 22.

It will be the first orbital launch attempt from New Zealand and the first ever from a private facility.

Announcing the window on Monday, founder and chief executive Peter Beck says a cautious approach will be taken.

"There are a lot of factors that come together ahead of a test and we're not going to fly unless we're ready," he said.

"It's highly possible we will scrub multiple attempts as we fine tune and wait for favourable weather conditions."

The launch is planned as the first of three tests before the company begins selling commercial satellite launches.

Mr Beck said it would be the culmination of years of work.

"It's an important milestone for our team and for the space industry. In the past, it's been countries that go to space, not companies."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon