A Silicon Valley-subsidized space launch company named Rocket Lab, has launched the first ever flight of its battery-powered, 3D-printed rocket that originates from the remote Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
Rocket Lab posted on its official Twitter account, “Made it to space. Team delighted.”
It was a breakthrough for the firm to finally have their rocket launched into space because they have spent the past four years preparing for the test launch. Finally, last week, they received the go signal from the US Federal Aviation Administration, which is the one responsible for monitoring the flight.
This triumphant launch of the rocket is a significant step in the commercial race of bringing down financial and logistical barriers to space. Also, this can also make New Zealand an unlikely space hub.
Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and chief executive, said in a statement that, “Our focus with the Electron has been to develop a reliable launch vehicle that can be manufactured in high volumes – our ultimate goal is to make space accessible by providing an unprecedented frequency of launch opportunities.”
In anticipation of becoming a budget friendly space hub, New Zealand has already created a new rocket legislation and has set up a space agency.
Rocket lab will perform two more tests before it commences commercial operations, scheduled to begin towards the end of this year.
However, despite the celebration with this victorious launch, a lot of locals in the predominantly Māori community were not pleased with access to public areas that were blocked.
A Mahia farmer, Pau Taumata said, “People come to Mahia so they can go to the beach and it’s been chopped off now and by the sounds of it one of these rockets are going to be launching one every 30 days so they’ve taken over our lifestyle.”