Rocket Lab's 1st Commercial Launch in Pictures: 'It's Business Time'!

Rocket Lab Electron launch

While Rocket Lab made its first orbital launch in January, this attempt was delayed due to a "motor control" issue with the rocket that has since been fixed, CNBC wrote. The plan, according to Beck, is to try one launch per month to start in 2019, then to move to one launch every two weeks.

The catch for Rocket Lab's customers is that the cost of putting a payload into space on a rocket where the payload is the sole occupant is more expensive than using a SpaceX Falcon 9 and hitching a ride with other payloads.

USA -based aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab completed its first successful commercial launch on Saturday, sending seven spacecraft including "six tiny satellites and a drag sail demonstrator" into orbit aboard a relatively small Electron rocket designed primarily for smallsats and cubesats, Spaceflight Now reported.

It focuses on delivering small payloads, such as research satellites, into orbit at low costs.

That would be a pretty remarkable launch rate for a relatively new company.

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The launch occurred at 4:50pm local time (03:50 UTC) on Sunday, from New Zealand's Māhia Peninsula. For It's Business Time, Rocket Lab launched two cubesats for Fleet Space Systems, two Lemur-2 cubesats for Spire Global, and one satellite each for Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems and Irvine Cubesat STEM Program.

"The ability to build and test multiple vehicles, while operating concurrent launch campaigns, strongly positions Rocket Lab as the industry leader opening access to space for small satellites", he said. Curie also carried NABEO, a drag sail technology demonstrator, designed and built by High Performance Space Structure Systems GmbH, to passively de-orbit inactive small satellites and reduce space junk. The first test launch in May 2017 failed to reach orbit.

Ten months have passed since that flight.

A Rocket Lab Electron booster lifts off from the Mahia Peninsula on 10 Nov, 2018, carrying six small satellites and a technology demonstrator for the company's "It's Business Time", mission. "For us, just going to orbit was a good milestone, but going to orbit once is just the start". Electron can put payloads up to the size of a refrigerator into orbit. But Rocket Lab has another launch scheduled for December, as well as 16 launches planned for 2019.

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