Rocket Lab successfully launches Electron from New Zealand to Earth orbit Video

Rocket Lab's second test launch rocket

Peter Beck says the Electron rocket carried commercial satellites into space - but also something else.

A Rocket Lab Electron booster launches on the company's second test flight, called "Still Testing", from the company's Māhia Peninsula launch site in New Zealand on january 21, 2018 local time.

Small satellites are becoming more common.

.

In its successful launch yesterday, the company initially said it had reached stage separation, before tweeting the rocket had successfully made it to orbit. That's why the company's Electron rocket isn't very big itself.

The payload for the launch, according to SpaceNews, included two cubesats for the data company Spire and one for Planet Labs.

The company's inaugural test last May reached space but didn't make it into orbit after a communication fault forced the flight to be aborted early.

More news: Europe storm: Germany in big clean-up as trains run once more

Meet "it's a Test", Rocket Lab's Electron rocket.

This was the second of three planned test launches. Rocket Lab says the rocket fills a niche in the commercial launch market underserved by other satellite boosters.

Richard Easther, a professor of physics at the University of Auckland, told Stuff.co.nz that Sunday was a "red-letter day for New Zealand," thanks to the Electron's orbital success.

And that means Rocket Lab can finally start launching the payloads of its long customer lineup, which includes NASA, Spaceflight, and more.

Plus, it's unclear when Rocket Lab will launch next and which customer the company will fly.

"Still Testing" was originally slated to blast off during a launch window in November of a year ago, but the launch was delayed after a power fault in the ground systems triggered an automatic abort just seconds before liftoff. But Rocket Lab does have five completed Electron rockets available, and expects to fly again in "early 2018". They're thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after their first test launch.

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