Small satellite launch company Rocket Lab says it's looking to expand its spaceflight operations by creating a new launch pad in the United States [rocketlabusa.com]. This new site will be the second one for the US-based startup, which already launches its rockets from a private pad in New Zealand.
Rocket Lab hasn't picked a location for the second launch site yet, but has narrowed it down to four places, all at government-run launch facilities. These include the US's two most prolific spaceports, Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The other two sites include Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, as well as the Pacific Spaceport Complex in southern Alaska. Rocket Lab says a final decision will be made in 2018. First, the company needs to work through all the necessary regulatory hurdles and costs, as well as figure out how long construction will take. A new pad will be built specifically for Rocket Lab's primary vehicle, the Electron.
The company's third launch, "It's Business Time," [soylentnews.org] has been delayed. That launch will carry commercial payloads.
Related: Rocket Lab's Second "Electron" Rocket Launch Succeeds, Reaches Orbit [soylentnews.org]
NASA Awards Launch Contracts to Rocket Lab and Virgin Orbit [soylentnews.org]