Rocket Lab consult Wairoa locals about setting up launching base

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

A remote part of the Wairoa district could be the ideal site to launch satellites into space.  Auckland-based company Rocket Lab has been consulting with locals about setting up a launching base in the area.

The New Zealand space industry is on the rise with Rocket Lab eyeing launch sites around the country to send satellites into orbit.

Peter Beck from Rocket Lab says, “New Zealand happens to be one of the best launch sites in the world.  We get really good launch directions right around to 39 degrees, so we cover an enormous amount of angles that we can launch into.”

The launch base itself is considerably smaller than in the USA, it would have a 1.2 metre diameter and be about 16 metre in length, with the aim to launch one satellite every week.

Peter Beck says, “To put that into context, USA, the great space nation goes to orbit 19 times a year the average is mission's $132 million - that's the average cost.”

Companies wanting to increase their global reach can have their satellite launched with Rocket Lab for around $6 million instead.

The company is interested in remote areas like Onenui Station on the Māhia Peninsula.

Increasing access to space is big business and if the plan does go ahead, the region will be home to a whole new industry.

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