Tag Archives: Mahia

Rocket Lab’s ‘Make it Rain’ launch

“…help monitor and inform decision about global warming”  … the old globalist go to for doing just about anything they want & the gullible trusting public as always fall for it hook line & sinker. And as for the ‘make it rain’ title, well some of us know they’ve been making it rain & weaponizing weather for quite some time now.
Why ever else would DARPA have their fingers in this pie?

“Rocket Lab has already launched satellites for US defence agency Darpa and the US Air Force this year….

Earlier, Beck said most defence technologies were “dual use”. Technologies that had come out of defence spending, including the internet, GPS and imaging systems that can help monitor and inform decision about global warming all gelled with his company’s motto that “We go into space to improve life on Earth.” “

from the NZ Herald

Rocket Lab’s “Make it Rain” launch has successfully liftoff, with its Electron now orbital.

The mission is the company’s seventh Electron launch and third for 2019.

READ MORE

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12245117&fbclid=IwAR1ERHchfvBvDQxc_k7B70xj2Pw6rEYciIdMw-X5H7Asca8ujZpjsaC7mbk

Rocket Lab has just made NZ a launch pad for US defense satellites … NASA ELaNa-19 mission revealed

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Didn’t we just know with a partner like Lockheed Martin (& now ACC as well) that there was more to Mahia’s Rocket Lab than innocent research? Doubtless, Mahia residents will have had nil consultation on this and as to Winston Peters’ ‘disarmament and arms control minister’ label, all I can say to that is, ‘what a crock’. All adds up given the big weapons fest Key hosted before departing for wealthier climes, having wrecked everything here prior …. thanks to thecontrail.com for the alert on this.

From thespinoff.co.nz via thecontrail.com

EDUCATIONAL LAUNCH OF NANOSATELLITES (ELANA)-19 LIFT-OFF, 16 DECEMBER 2018. PHOTO: ROCKET LAB / TREVOR MAHLMANN

Its latest mission may be inadvertently exposing New Zealand to the militarisation of space, writes Ollie Neas.

Rocket Lab made history on Sunday as its first ever mission for NASA made orbit from the Mahia Peninsula. The mission was the first dedicated launch of miniature satellites, or CubeSats, for NASA by a commercial launch provider.

But this was not the only reason the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites (ELaNa)-19 was historic. It was also the first time a satellite for a US defence agency was launched from New Zealand.

Although described as an “educational” mission, ELaNa-19 included a satellite that will conduct research for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, the Pentagon agency which develops cutting-edge technology for the US military.

DARPA’s involvement with this satellite, called the SHFT-1, has not been publicly disclosed by Rocket Lab. Nor does it appear to have been disclosed to the minister for economic development, David Parker, who approved the launch.

This launch is set to be followed by another for DARPA in early 2019 as part of a US Department of Defense programme to demonstrate that it can launch satellites rapidly in the increasingly contested space environment.

These developments come after The Spinoff revealed the extent of Rocket Lab’s work for US defence agencies last month, and signal New Zealand’s creeping involvement in US programmes to enhance its military capabilities in space.

A defence and security expert says these launches expose the risk of New Zealand inadvertently militarising space, and could also undermine New Zealand’s national security.

The SHFT-1 is described in Rocket Lab press releases as a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory satellite. But NASA’s own Orbital Debris Risk Assessment Plan for the mission indicates that the SHFT-1 is in fact a project of the DARPA Strategic Technology Office (STO), though it was designed by NASA.

The STO focuses on “technologies that enable fighting as a network to increase military effectiveness, cost leverage, and adaptability”. DARPA’s mission generally is to “maintain and advance the capabilities and technical superiority of the United States military”.

A DARPA spokesperson told The Spinoff that the SHFT-1 will measure radio frequencies to improve the performance of over-the-horizon radar ( OTHR).

OTHR is a type of radar system that can detect targets over long distances by bouncing radio waves off the ionosphere, which is a layer of the atmosphere. Its military uses include detecting missiles and stealth aircraft.

But there is no mention of DARPA or OTHR in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s briefing to the economic development minister David Parker, who approved the launch, although one paragraph of the briefing is redacted.

Released under the Official Information Act, this briefing simply describes the SHFT-1 as a NASA JPL satellite that will “study high-frequency signals to support research into galactic background emissions”.

MBIE advised the Parker that it had not identified any national interest concerns from the ELaNa-19 satellites and the New Zealand Intelligence Community identified no risks to national security. Parker’s office declined to confirm to The Spinoff whether he was personally aware that the SHFT-1 is part of a DARPA project, but responded that the minister was briefed on the launch.

“The Minister is satisfied that all the payloads, including the SHFT-1, are to be used to advance science and for research and development purposes and that the mission and purpose of the payloads is not contrary to our national interest,” his office said.

The Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Act allows the minister to veto a satellite if it is not in the national interest. Although it prohibits the launch of weapons of mass destruction, it does not preclude the use of space for military purposes generally.

MBIE was asked to comment on whether it informed the minister about DARPA’s involvement, but said it would be treating The Spinoff’s questions as an Official Information Act request. Rocket Lab, which provided comment for The Spinoff’s last article, did not reply to a request for comment about the SHFT-1.

Little has been revealed publicly about the broader SHFT programme, which stands for the Space-based High Frequency Testbed. But public records show that US federal government contracts for the programme have been awarded to the defence and weapons contractor Raytheon, the scientific research institute SRI International, and Systems & Technology LLC, a company specialising in “advanced research and development for defense, intelligence and homeland security applications”.

The second DARPA satellite to be launched from New Zealand is called the R3D2 and is part of a joint programme between DARPA and the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Last month The Spinoff revealed that Rocket Lab would be launching this satellite but until now it was not known whether the launch would be from Rocket Lab’s New Zealand launch site on the Mahia Peninsula, its yet-to-be-constructed site in the US, or some other site entirely.

DARPA now confirms that the launch will be from the Mahia Peninsula and likely in February or March 2019. Rocket Lab has not publicised this launch in any way and has declined two invitations from The Spinoff to comment on it.

David Parker’s office says that he has been informed about DARPA’s interest in the launch but has not considered an application for the R3D2 satellite. “Each application for a payload permit is considered on a case-by-case basis against the requirements in the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act,” his office said.

DARPA spokesperson Jared Adams says that the R3D2, which stands for RF Risk Reduction Deployment Demonstration, will demonstrate a new type of “membrane reflect-array antenna”.

“The demo seeks to prove a smaller, faster to launch and cheaper capability, providing increased communication coverage typically covered by geo-communications satellites. The R3D2 effort is in partnership with, and sponsored by, the Office of the Secretary of Defense as part of an effort to demonstrate rapid acquisition of small satellite and launch capabilities.”

It is not clear whether other satellites will be included on this launch. But the US Department of Defense will pay Rocket Lab US$6.5 million, which is close to the US$6.95 million for the whole NASA ELaNa-19 mission.

The US Department of Defense has actively pursued rapid launch capabilities in recent years as other nations challenge its dominance in space. Responding to these challenges, the Trump Administration announced plans in August to create a dedicated Space Force as a sixth branch of the US military.

Rocket Lab’s two DARPA launches indicate that New Zealand is to play a role in US space initiatives. Terry Johanson, a lecturer at Massey University’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies, says that this may pose risks to New Zealand’s national security.

“Some of the threats are from our own cooperation with a larger partner who wants to push their own national interest, which may not necessarily align to what our national interests are in maintaining the non-militarisation of space,” he said.

“An opponent of America could see New Zealand as a more vulnerable area in which to target indirectly America’s space programme or defence program. For example, Russia, North Korea or China could potentially undertake operations here to sabotage the American defense programme.”

Johanson also suggests the government may not have full information about what is being launched from New Zealand due to the Technology Safeguards Agreement, the treaty signed to allow for the transfer of US rocket technology to New Zealand.

The agreement requires the US to provide a written statement about spacecraft it proposes to launch from New Zealand, but precludes New Zealand from launching any spacecraft that the US deems contrary to its laws or policies.

Last Thursday Winston Peters, who is the disarmament and arms control minister, announced that New Zealand will chair the Missile Technology Control Regime in 2019.

“New Zealand’s emerging space industry makes it particularly relevant at this time that we contribute to the effective international control of sensitive missile-related technologies,” Peters said.

BE SURE TO READ THE COMMENTS AT THE LINK:

https://thespinoff.co.nz/business/17-12-2018/revealed-rocket-lab-ha…

https://thecontrail.com/forum/topics/revealed-rocket-lab-has-just-made-nz-a-launch-pad-for-us-defence-

There are so many hidden references in the first article.  We are so toast.

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Rocket Lab’s “Secret Payload” is a Big Disco Ball. Really. Honestly.

In my humble opinion this is light & superficial info that deflects from the real purpose of the base. The info to which we are not privy. Call me conspiratorial if you wish, but we’ll probably never know unless something goes wrong of course.

Photo: NewsHub

Rocket Lab has angered astronomers across the world after putting a glittering disco ball into orbit.
New Zealand’s first-ever successful orbital launch was hailed last week, but on Thursday the company revealed in addition to two mapping satellites, the Electron rocket was carrying a reflective sphere it called the ‘Humanity Star’.
It holds no practical purpose, except to “get people to go outside and look up”, according to Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck.

But people who look up every day for living are outraged, expressing their displeasure with the company’s space junk on social media.
“Intentionally bright long-term space graffiti. Thanks a lot @RocketLab,” astronomer Mike Brown, of the California Institute of Technology, wrote on Twitter.
“Most of us would not think it cute if I stuck a big flashing strobe-light on a polar bear, or emblazoned my company slogan across the perilous upper reaches of Everest,” Columbia University director of astrobiology Caleb Scharf wrote for science magazine Scientific American.
“Jamming a brilliantly glinting sphere into the heavens feels similarly abusive.”
New York University astrophysicist Benjamin Pope called the Humanity Star “short-lived and kind of cool”, but said it would get in the way of real satellites.
Even Kiwi scientists are tut-tutting Rocket Lab.

http://thecontrail.com/forum/topics/rocket-lab-s-secret-payload-is-a-big-disco-ball-really-honestly?commentId=4744723%3AComment%3A863301

GO HERE FOR A PLETHORA OF OTHER ARTICLES ON TOPIC:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?client=opera&q=ROCKET+LAB+DISCO+BALL+NEWS+HUB&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

AND HERE FOR OUR OTHER ARTICLES ON TOPIC:

https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/category/mahia-rocket-pad/

NZ’s Rocket Base (that’s partnered with the largest defense contractor on the planet) is testing again – what are they really up to?

From the NZ Herald

“Rockets will soon be blasting off from northern Hawke’s Bay again, after Rocket Lab announced its second test-launch window.

“The Auckland-based company yesterday said it would fly payloads for clients Planet and Spire on its upcoming second test flight titled “Still Testing” from its Launch Complex 1 site at Mahia Peninsula.” NZ Herald

We had an article earlier this year about the Mahia Rocket base.  I had intended to follow up with further details however time constraints have prevented me. There were some comments from locals that you can read at the original post, voicing their concerns and observations around the consultation processes, possible effects on fishing and other things.

What I have discovered since that post is information people probably are not aware of about Lockheed Martin (LM). I’m adding here the basic info on the corporation from the original post:

Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security, and technologies industry. It is the world’s largest defense contractor based on revenue for fiscal year 2014.[5] In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales;[6] it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon.[7] In 2009 US government contracts accounted for $38.4 billion (85%), foreign government contracts $5.8 billion (13%), and commercial and other contracts for $900 million (2%).[8]
Wikipedia

Lockheed Martin is so big that it is the equivalent almost of a private second government.

You can listen to the information on Lockheed Martin (LM) on a video (by Dane Wigington) in another recent post, by an ex CIA whistle blower Kevin Shipp who describes the true length, breadth and power of this company. (If you’re pressed for time go straight to 12 minutes in, or to hear specifically about LM go to 17 min). Not surprisingly, the US Military Industrial Complex (MIC) holds considerable power over Congress.

Untitled.png
A screen shot from the lecture by Kevin Shipp – the interrelationships of the shadow government

Part of that of course is the said company.  LM is the chief surveillance information processor for the CIA, the NSA and the FBI. It has created a program that tracks every contact every American citizen has with the IRS, their emails, payments made, all are run through LM. The corporation is so big that it is the equivalent almost, says Shipp, of a private second government. The average household in America has what he calls a ‘Lockheed Martin tax’. The sum of around $260 is taken from all pockets pa to pay this company basically to spy on Americans through the NSA & CIA, even tracking packages in the US postal. As well as all this of course they make ballistic missiles among other weaponry to sell to foreign governments.

Moving on then, this is a company that has helped fund the NZ Rocket Lab. Do you really think they are here because they really feel for our unemployed? Given their ongoing ‘budget’ in the US (trillions Shipp estimates) we are very small fry. Our government aka corporation is fully in bed with the US Military going by their recent carry on, having also made a farce of our nuclear free stance. It is all now about money.  So, a must listen is the video, and watch this space (no pun intended) for further updates on where this thing is headed.
EnvirowatchRangitikei

 

Rocket Lab announces second test on Mahia Peninsula

“The flight is the second of three in Rocket Lab’s Electron test programme and follows May’s successful inaugural Electron test flight.

Read more about earlier test in May: Eager witnesses still turn out despite Rocket Lab delay
We have lift-off: Rocket Lab

The Electron vehicle for the “Still Testing” flight is expected to be trucked to the site next month, and a launch window will open in the following weeks.

The vehicle will carry two Earth-imaging Dove satellites for Planet and two Lemur-2 satellites from Spire for weather mapping and ship tracking.

Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said carrying a test payload marked a significant milestone for the Electron programme, enabling Rocket Lab to gather crucial data and test systems for the deployment stage of a mission.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11926610

NZ has a rocket base that’s received $25 million Govt funding & is financially supported by the world’s largest weapons trader, Lockheed Martin

Rocket_Lab_Launch_Complex_1_(Sept_2016)
The new rocket launch-pad at Mahia NZ …  Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Rocket Lab is an American aerospace corporation launching out of New Zealand
SOURCE

Did you know that NZ now has a rocket base? This news seems to have flown under the radar for many. I only noticed it myself a month or so ago. The base is actually situated in Mahia on the East Coast of the North Island, however it was originally planned for the South Island at Kaitorete Spit near Christchurch, also near Birdling Flat and the Radar/Haarp Station there (more on NZ Haarp here and here). The length of time obtaining consents appears to have been the deciding factor about a change in tack.  Rocket Lab noted one thing that prevented it from launching close to Christchurch which was the need for a cultural impact assessment from the council. A decision was made to locate the launch pad at Mahia instead. A cultural impact assessment (CIA) is …

“… a report documenting Māori cultural values, interests and associations with an area or a resource, and the potential impacts of a proposed activity on these. CIAs are a tool to facilitate meaningful and effective participation of Māori in impact assessment.”
http://www.qualityplanning.org.nz/index.php/supporting-components/faq-s-on-cultural-impact-assessments

So who is behind Rocket Lab?

Rocket Lab is a private company, with major investors including Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture PartnersLockheed Martin and K1W1.

Rocket Lab’s financial backers include Silicon Valley venture capitalists, Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 investment fund and Lockheed Martin. It has received up to $25 million of government funding over five years. SOURCE

The company of particular note there is Lockheed Martin:

Lockheed Martin is one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security, and technologies industry. It is the world’s largest defense contractor based on revenue for fiscal year 2014.[5] In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales;[6] it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon.[7] In 2009 US government contracts accounted for $38.4 billion (85%), foreign government contracts $5.8 billion (13%), and commercial and other contracts for $900 million (2%).[8]
Wikipedia

Last November (2016) saw the ‘celebration’ of the NZ Navy’s 75th year.
http://m.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11655793

The launch pad is stated in the following article to be,  environmentally friendly, which is heartening indeed given our environment that masquerades as ‘clean and green’ still is in reality pretty much trashed.  And regarding partnership with the world’s “largest defense contractor, let’s not kid ourselves, can never be termed ‘friendly’ in any sense of the word, given the carnage we are witnessing daily in terms of civilian deaths, if you happen to read alternative media that is.  The US is a nation that has taken defense to its ‘finest’, witness the armchair ‘warriors’ who expunge families with small children from thousands of miles away with drones. Lest you think I am being too harsh on these entrepreneurial people who will no doubt be supplying jobs to local folk (the usual candy cum rationale proffered by corporations) the deciding factor for me is the funding from the said weapons corporation. They won’t be helping fund this because they’re really keen to supply Gisborne locals with employment. We all know this is not the way of corporations. Neither will the Government/corporation be …  corporations are about profits not people. If the Government really had a mind to help people they would not make hard working families on minimum wage pay more tax than themselves.  Neither would they let corporations off with tax. To see how much they are let off watch Bryan Bruce’s ‘Mind the Gap’ doco on child poverty.

2014083021motherandchild-1200.jpg
Madeleine Albright is on record as saying the death of 500K Iraqi children was ‘worth it’

Mainstream media tends to not overly highlight the deaths of little children and their parents in the many global conflicts. It gives war a bad name and they, including our Government/corporation, prefer to re frame and name it as ‘defense’. This is what John Key committed $20 billion of your money to last year (Kiwis) … not war … ‘defense’. They are defending us from Isis and similar terrorist threats that their friends in the US helped to create.  And the US’s Madeleine Albright thinks the death of 500,000 Iraqi children was still “worth it”. The British Royals are not averse to trading in weapons either. 

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest weapons manufacturer and supplier to such regimes as Saudi Arabia, a country that today stands accused of using these very weapons to commit war crimes.
NZ Herald 14.06.2016

On Tuesday 27 September 2016 a member of the public in Wairoa expressed concerns at the Wairoa District Council meeting:

The person “…..enquired as to when the first rocket will be launched and what assurances Council has that satellites launched won’t be used for spying or military activities…. Rocket Lab has installed the launch platform at the private orbital launch under development on Māhia Peninsula. The installation of the almost 50 ton platform is the final major step in preparing the site for the arrival of the first electron launch vehicle, scheduled to be tested in the coming months. The New Zealand Government has announced the development of a new regulatory regime for space and high altitude activities. It will ensure the development of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations.” SOURCE

Now that should put all of our minds at rest. The NZ Govt  “will ensure the development of a peaceful, safe, responsible and secure space industry that meets New Zealand’s international obligations.”

Nothing to see here ….

Anyway, that said, here is an article from 2015 on the launch pad:

Rocket Lab chief commits to protect environment

The company proposing a rocket launch pad on Canterbury’s coast says it is committed to protecting the environment.

Rocket Lab’s proposed site on Kaitorete Spit was officially unveiled this morning in front of Prime Minister John Key and representatives from the Department of Conservation.

READ MORE

John Key and Rocket Lab chief executive, Peter Beck, at the proposed site for new launch pad.
John Key former PM and Peter Beck, CE of Rocket Lab at the originally proposed site near Christchurch    Photo: RadioNZ

You may well be asking, why a rocket launch pad?

“Rocket Lab’s mission is to remove the barriers to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit. Since its creation in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab has delivered a range of complete rocket systems and technologies for fast and affordable payload deployment.”

https://www.rocketlabusa.com/about-us/

Blessing of the site

View a video of the blessing of the site in 2015 from the Gisborne Herald:

gisborneherald

“THE final frontier could be conquered as early as next June, when Rocket Lab expects to begin launching test rockets into space from its Mahia Peninsula site. For Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck, launching his first 16m Electron rocket into space from what will be the world’s first commercial orbital launch site is a life-long dream.”

http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz
https://www.facebook.com/gisborneherald
https://www.youtube.com/gisborneherald

On Saturday the remote site on Onenui Station was blessed and the lease agreement signed between Rocket Lab and the landowners — representatives of Tawapata South Incorporation.

READ MORE


So we in NZ are now third highest in the developed world for child poverty. We had 41K homeless last time I looked, and 33K empty homes in Auckland belonging to people who don’t even live here. This is the way of Neo-Lib economics. It doesn’t care about children, it doesn’t care about families, it doesn’t care about the vulnerable. NZ has spent $25 million on this pad, the country that is now a haven for the rich who seek to escape the fallout from their oppressive economic activity… and in light of all that, a rocket launch pad is great news. It really reminds me of a recent meme I saw. A politician leans in to a sleeping homeless man and says … “wake up … I’ve got a tax break for you”.

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Header image credit: Wikipedia