Topics: Environment, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti

Mahia is the best place on the planet to go to orbit - Rocket Lab CEO

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa
  • Northland

Rocket Lab first test rocket has arrived in the Mahia launch facility. Rocket Lab CEO and founder Peter Beck says,  "Within the coming weeks the first test flight will be launched from Mahia."

Beck plans to make space more accessible. Another milestone has been reached as the first test rocket named Test 1 arrives Mahia.  

Mr Beck says,  "This is kind of 10 years of a lot of hard work with over 150 engineers and scientists.  To get to this point, it is a great milestone for the team.  There have been a number of world firsts for the programme, the engines, the launch site, it is such a proud moment for not only the company but for everyone in NZ." 

Rocket Lab's partnership with the Māori land owners Tawapata Incorporations on Mahia Peninsula has enabled Rocket Lab to access space from the best place on planet earth.   Mr Beck says, "I don't think they ever expected to have a rocket facility on their land- we are so privileged to be able to work with them and the first rocket to go from Māori land, it is just fantastic. 

Rocket Lab have 3 test flight before commercial payloads will begin.  The cost of payloads starts from over one hundred thousand dollars to over a million dollars.  

Mr Beck says, "At the moment space is only available to a select few.  America, as an entire country only went to orbit 18, 19 times last year so we are about making space accessible and when you do that some really really exciting thing can happen and can have benefits- not just for a select few but for humanity globally.  It is really really exciting."

In 2009, Mr Beck launched Atea 1- the first rocket to reach space from the Southern Hemisphere.  Now Rocket Lab's mission to go to space from Mahia is one step closer.