Tag Archives: Electron rocket

Rocket Lab delays first rocket test flights

Rocket Lab has revealed that it will not conduct its first test flight of its new Electron rocket before the end of the year.

Rocket Lab originally scheduled road closures for test launches between November 17 and December 24. The company is now planning to conduct the first test flight early next year. Rocket Lab media spokeswoman Catherine Moreau-Hammond said the team had worked tirelessly this year, and with the holidays fast approaching they felt it best to allow everyone a decent break. Ms Moreau-Hammond said this would also alleviate some pressure on Mahia, which experiences a considerable population spike through the Christmas holidays.

This is a new company, a new rocket, a new launchpad, in a new country inexperienced in rocket launches. It is therefore not surprising that things have been delayed.

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First Rocket Lab launch this year

The competition heats up: The new launch company Rocket Lab has announced that it expects the inaugural launch of its Electron rocket to take place sometime in the middle of this year.

The company announced March 22 that it has completed qualification tests of the Rutherford engine, allowing it to be used in flights of the Electron vehicle. A video released by the company showed the engine firing on a test stand for more than two and a half minutes.

The first launch is planned for the middle of this year, company spokeswoman Catherine Moreau-Hammond said March 23, with the overall flight test program running through the second half of the year. Those launches are planned from a site the company is developing on New Zealand’s North Island.

This company is in direct competition with Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne, and like everyone will likely be in operation first, beating Branson’s company despite starting almost a decade later.

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