A Silicon Valley-funded space launch company in New Zealand, Rocket Lab, has successfully launched a battery powered 3D printed rocket from the remote Mahia Peninsula. "Made it to space. Team delighted," the company Twitted.
According to a report by Fortune New Zealand has created new rocket legislation and set up a space agency in anticipation of becoming a low-cost space hub.
Rocket Lab founder and CEO explained in a statement, "Our focus with the Electron has been to develop a reliable launch vehicle that can be manufactured in high volumes – our ultimate goal is to make space accessible by providing an unprecedented frequency of launch opportunities.”
The space startup was preparing for the launch for about four years, and has received a green light from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which has been monitoring the flight. Rocket Lab is one of about 30 companies and agencies worldwide developing and focusing on innovative space projects such as small satellite launchers and more. The company said in a statement it has now received $148 million in funding and is valued in excess of $1 billion, Fortune reported.
Rocket Lab's customers include NASA, earth-imaging firm Planet and startups Spire and Moon Express.