news
2 mins read 19 Dec 2019

Rocket Lab announces construction on third launchpad

Rocket Lab has announced it is building the company’s third launch facility in New Zealand.

Launch pad facility, perched on top of a cliff and surrounded by green cliffs. Facility contains buildings and long drive out to launch pad which is near end of cliff
Launch Complex 1, Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. Credit: Rocket Lab.

New Zealand (NZ) based commercial launch company, Rocket Lab, has announced on Twitter that is will be building an additional launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula, increasing the number of global launch capable locations to three – two based in NZ (Launch Complex 1) and another based in the United States (Launch Complex 2).

The commercial operator aims to increase the launch frequency of its Electron rocket booster, allowing the rapid delivery of assets into Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). The second launch pad, currently under construction in New Zealand, will allow the company to provide back-to-back missions within days, making it one of the most rapid rocket launching companies in the world.

Rocket Lab recently opened its US-based launch complex at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, confirming the first inaugural mission from the US site will be a dedicated flight for the U.S. Air Force.

Between both sites, Rocket Lab aims to launch more than 130 rockets per year, providing consistent launch opportunities for the small-satellite market.

Having successfully launched 10 Electron rockets, Rocket Lab reached a new milestone in their drive to achieve reusability in their latest mission, by successfully completing guided re-entry of the Electron’s first stage, returning it to sea level intact following a guided descent.