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Rocket Lab is the global leader in smaller rockets – bringing the cost of launching a rocket into space from over US$100 million to under US$5 million. In this special episode on NZ Tech Podcast, Paul Spain chats with Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck about moving to full commercial status – with a 14-day launch window opening on 20 April. The mission, named “It’s Business Time”, includes payloads for Spire Global and GeoOptics Inc, built by Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems.
The 14-day launch window for the Electron rocket opens on Friday, 20 April. Each day a four-hour launch window will open from 12:30 p.m. NZST (This is 00:30 UTC). “It’s Business Time” will launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand. Currently licensed for up to one launch every 3-days, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 is the only private orbital launch facility in the world.
Rocket Lab is currently the only private, dedicated small launch provider that has deployed satellites to orbit. The move to commercial launches by Rocket Labs is the fastest a private rocket launch provider has transitioned from a test program to fully commercial flights. The “It’s Business Time” mission follows three months after Rocket Lab’s January 2018 launch “Still Testing”, which successfully deployed an Earth-imaging satellite for Planet and circularised the orbit of two weather and AIS ship tracking satellites for Spire Global using Rocket Lab’s in-house designed and built kick stage.