Rocket launch by NZ.
PICS courtesy: BBC and AFP
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For any nation, the first launching into space is the fulfillment of a long cherished dream. It does not matter whether the agency conducting the launch is a governmental one or a private enterprise.
Thus, New Zealand has made its entry to the elite club of space goers. Or, in other words, Thursday, 25th of May heralded another nation’s entry into the exclusive space-race countries.
Although, it was the efforts of a private enterprise that catapulted New Zealand into the achiever’s club. The test craft christened Electron by the company Rocket Lab took off from North Island.
Thus, the aerospace company Rocket lab launched Electron from its own site. It is the first initiative of its kind in the world by a private enterprise. Moreover, through this launch, it exhibited its capabilities to launch satellites and other cargo successfully into space.
The New Zealand Media was agog with the first successful launch from its country. It also hailed the landmark achievement of Rocket lab. Though the government was not involved, it was a day of pride for the New Zealanders.
Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck was jubilant at his company’s path breaking launch. They had constructed their own site in Mahia on North Island’s East coast. But, the launch was not without its troubles and unforeseen delays.
Bad weather on the North Island led to several postponements of the take off of the rocket. But, when the launch finally succeeded, Peter Beck’s joys knew no bounds. His company’s tweet reflected the happiness he felt; “Made it to space. Team delighted. More to follow”.
Electron that took two and a half minutes to create commercial history is 17 meters (55.5 Ft) in length. During this short flight, it achieved top speeds of 27000 kilometers while in orbit.
A private enterprise has made a beginning and a whole new chapter has started, he said. Till now, it was only countries that went to space; now, our company has done it, he stated.
Prior to the launch, Peter Beck had been highly enthusiastic about his venture. He called it a vital milestone both for his company in particular and the aerospace industry in general.
Rocket Lab will be conducting a series of three test launches in the initial stages of this project. Once satisfied about the progress and the expertise, customers may avail the services. In the foreseeable future we will provide launching of commercial satellites and other services too, Beck announced.
Regarding the celebrations to follow, Beck stated that there will be minimum celebrations involving his team. However, he promised to conduct a main party when the commercial launchings begin.
Rocket lab, a New Zealand firm had the active support of the following US companies:
• Lockheed Martin ,
• Promus Ventures,
• Kholsa Ventures,
• Data Collective, and
• Beesemer Venture Partners.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson
Friday, 26 May 2017