Watch Rocket Lab send its first commercial rocket to space

Rocket Lab's first commercial Electron rocket lifts off from Mahia Peninsula

ROCKET LABRocket Lab's first commercial Electron rocket lifts off from Mahia Peninsula

Rocket Lab's creation has a black carbon composite fuselage with "Electron" emblazoned on the side in white lettering.

After the rocket's booster separated from the second stage and fell into the open, the second stage's single Rutherford engine (a mostly 3D-printed design with an electric-pump-fed engine) took the rest of the payload into orbit.

"The ability to build and test multiple vehicles, while operating concurrent launch campaigns, strongly positions Rocket Lab as the industry leader opening access to space for small satellites", he said.

The start-up launched a 56 foot (17-metre) rocket from the Mahia Peninsula in the North Island, New Zealand, as part of a new nanotechnology space race.

"It's Business Time" launched six satellites for Spire, Tyvak, Fleet and the Irvine CubeSat STEM program.

Rocket Lab uses a rocket it calls Electron to put satellites into orbit, and its goal is to make each launch cost about $5.7 million. A burn lasting almost two minutes aimed to circularize the kick stage's orbit at an altitude of around 499km before release of the mission's six satellite passengers.

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On board was seven spacecraft, which mostly comprised of small satellites and one drag sail called NABEO, which is created to deorbit inactive, small satellites to help reduce space junk.

The firm completed a successful test launch with one of its Electron rockets in January when it deployed three satellites. Rocket Lab's business time had been postponed twice over the past eight months, due to concerns about a motor controller for the first-stage Rutherford engines. The company's Electron rocket is created to launch spacecraft up to the size of a refrigerator, especially for the premium small satellite part of the rocket market.

The Electron - which is about a quarter the size of SpaceX's 230ft (70m) tall Falcon 9 - released the payload about 45 minutes after the launch.

The Mahia launch is being commanded from Rocket Lab's new rocket factory in Mount Wellington, Auckland. The 18 total launches planned so far gives Rocket Lab about $3 billion in revenue in the pipeline.

JAXA successfully launched its ultra-small SS-520 in February 2018, making it one of the first to make headway in launching a tiny rocket.

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