23 May 2017

Rocket to blast off today at launch time

10:36 am on 23 May 2017

The international spaceflight community is watching New Zealand today as a local rocket company attempts its first test launch into orbit.

Rocket Lab rocket

Rocket Lab rocket Photo: Twitter / @RocketLabUSA

The test flight of the 17m rocket will be the first of three as Rocket Lab gets set for commercial launches with customers, including NASA, lined up.

Yesterday's launch from Mahia Peninsula was delayed because it was too windy.

The president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Eric Stallmer, said he was excited by what Rocket Lab was doing and a lot of companies were anticipating the launch system.

"We're excited about what Peter is doing down there and hope that he has partnered in the US with several companies and there's a lot of companies anticipating this small, low-cost, affordable launch system," he said.

He said every successful launch was great for the industry.

The Rocket Lab site

The Rocket Lab site Photo: courtesy Rocket Lab

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