Rocket Lab selects New Zealand to test World’s First Private Launch Pad
A rocket has been planned to launch from a paddock in a remote Island in New Zealand in 2016. It will be the world’s first private launch range. Adding to that, it will also be New Zealand’s first rocket launch rage of any kind.
The rocket that will be launched next year is designed by American aerospace company Rocket Lab. The 16-metre carbon-cased rocket, which will be powered by a 3D-printed rocket engine, is currently being assembled near Auckland Airport. The rocket’s weight is just 1,190 kilograms, and when supply and fuel will be loaded in it, its weight will be one third of SpaceX’s Falcon 1.
While talking about why New Zealand has been selected for the launch, Peter Beck, CEO of Rocket Lab, said, “One advantage of New Zealand being this little island nation in the middle of nowhere is that’s the perfect place to launch a rocket”.
Another reason may be that the US skies are very busy, and when a rocket is launched, planes are ordered to re-route. New Zealand, which is a nation of just four million people, does not have such obstacles. Adding to that, it has only Antarctica to its south.
As per plans of Rocket Lab, there will be up to one launch every week from 2018. A launch will cost about $5 million to the company. Earlier, the company sealed a deal with Silicon Valley-based Moon Express to launch a rocket to the moon in 2017.
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