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Rocket Lab picks Virginia’s Wallops Island for U.S. launch site, adding to N.Z. pad

17 Oct 2018, 20:44 UTC
Rocket Lab picks Virginia’s Wallops Island for U.S. launch site, adding to N.Z. pad
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Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck and other dignitaries pose with their shovels for a groundbreaking ceremony on Virginia’s Wallops Island. (Rocket Lab Photo via Twitter)
Rocket Lab officially unveiled its plan to build a commercial launch site at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Virginia’s Wallops Island, with liftoffs due to begin in a year.
The facility, which will be called Launch Complex 2, provides a U.S.-based alternative to Rocket Lab’s first launch pad on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula.
So far, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has flown just two test missions, including a successful rise to orbit in January. The third liftoff, nicknamed “It’s Business Time” in homage to the New Zealand comedy duo known as Flight of the Conchords, is set to launch from New Zealand next month and put five small satellites in orbit.
Another New Zealand launch is due to launch an assortment of NASA-sponsored satellites as early as December. Seattle-based Spaceflight is partnering with Rocket Lab on three Electron launches over the coming year. The Electron is designed to send payloads weighing as much as 500 pounds to low Earth orbit.
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck said today that his company expects to spend $20 million ...

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