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posted by Fnord666 on Friday May 26 2017, @02:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the more-the-merrier dept.

"Made it to space. Team delighted. More to follow!" the U.S. company, founded by New Zealander Peter Beck, tweeted at 4:29 p.m. New Zealand time Thursday. It is the first test of the company's Electron Rocket from New Zealand, a country of just 4.7 million people deep in the South Pacific.

Rocket Lab aims to build a New Zealand base from which to launch small satellites into low orbit. The country is considered a prime location because rockets originating deep in the Southern Hemisphere can reach a wide range of Earth orbits.

[...] With a height of 17 meters and a diameter of 1.2 meters, and 3D-printed engines, the Electron Rocket is capable of carrying a maximum payload of 225 kilograms, according to Rocket Lab, whose investors include Lockheed Martin Corp.


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  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday May 26 2017, @08:24AM (4 children)

    by MostCynical (2589) on Friday May 26 2017, @08:24AM (#515883)

    There is the added advantage of not having to construct, or ship, your payload in, or to, the northern hemisphere. Great, if you're thinking of putting stuff into space and you're already based somewhere south of the equator.

    tau = 300. Greek circles must have been weird.
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  • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Friday May 26 2017, @09:27AM (2 children)

    by butthurt (6141) on Friday May 26 2017, @09:27AM (#515899) Journal

    According to someone's Web site, 88% of the Earth's people live in the Northern Hemisphere, and a hemisphere centred on New Zealand is less populated than one centred on the South Pole:

    [...] some of the islands off the coast of New Zealand have only 7.1% of the world’s population living on their side of the world, which is even lower than the South Pole at 12.2%.

    -- []

    I would guess that being distant from people, the site may be distant from manufacturing as well. Perhaps you were making that point facetiously? However I'd also guess than transporting rockets, satellites, fuel and such around the world by ship is not much of an impediment.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @01:06PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26 2017, @01:06PM (#515939)

    This is counter-balanced by the fact that you'd have to construct or ship your payload to New Zealand. Not a trivial undertaking for most of the world.