“Rocket Lab was founded on the principle of opening access to space to better understand our planet and improve life on it.”
With a major investor Lockheed Martin, of course they will be improving life on planet earth. That’s what defense contractors are about aren’t they? Understanding & improving our planet? Not about wars, killing and profits. Defense contractors are in it for the good of humanity.
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. In 2013, 78% of Lockheed Martin’s revenues came from military sales; it topped the list of US federal government contractors and received nearly 10% of the funds paid out by the Pentagon. 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%).
From the NZ Herald
Rocket Lab has successfully launched its second rocket from Mahia, with the rocket –
named “Still Testing” – reaching orbit for the first time.
This follows the company’s first launch last May, in which the rocket got to space but did not make it to orbit after range safety officials had to kill the flight.
Rocket Lab earlier said it had pinpointed the problem that meant its first Electron rocket was killed before it got to orbit, with the company saying at the time that it was confident the fault had been ironed out.
In its successful launch today, the company initially said it had reached stage separation, before tweeting the rocket had successfully made it to orbit.
There would be a third test launch – into Sun-synchronous orbit of between 300km and 500km above the Earth’s surface – before the company could move into commercial missions.
The launch marked the “beginning of a new era in commercial access to space”, Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said.
Reaching orbit on a test flight was significant but successfully deploying a customer payload so early in a new rocket programme was almost “unprecedented”.
Following successful first and second-stage burns, Electron reached orbit and deployed customer payloads at 8 minutes and 31 seconds after lift-off.
“Rocket Lab was founded on the principle of opening access to space to better understand our planet and improve life on it.
“Today we took a significant step towards that.”