Watch: Rocket Lab has lift off

Watch: Rocket Lab has lift off

After several failed attempts, Rocket Lab has successfully launched a rocket from the Mahia Peninsula.

The Electron rocket has achieved a successful insertion into orbit, according to Rocket Lab.

The New Zealand-based company tried to launch its Electron rocket on Saturday, but had to call it off when two rogue vessels were spotted in the vicinity.

A second attempt on Saturday afternoon had to be canned due to weather conditions.

Rocket Lab initially said Sunday's launch window would begin at 2:30pm, but has since tweeted it is targeting a launch no earlier than 2:43pm.

The company has faced a series of hurdles in launching its Electron rocket, known as Still Testing, into orbit.

Its inaugural test in May 2017 managed to reach space, but the rocket didn't make it into orbit after a communication fault forced the flight to be aborted early.

A further attempt in December came within two seconds of lift-off, but the countdown was aborted because of "rising liquid oxygen temperatures" that were not compatible with the afternoon's warm conditions.

Shortly afterwards, Rocket Lab announced it would be suspending launch attempts until early 2018.

Sunday's launch is the first time a satellite has been launched into orbit from New Zealand.

Still Testing is carrying small Earth-imaging satellites for US companies Planet Labs and Spire Global.

"We'll become the second company in the world to have put something in orbit, and New Zealand the 11th nation," said company founder Peter Beck.

Clarification: Newshub has now confirmed that Hastings District Councillor Damon Harvey was not onboard the boat which disrupted the attempted launch on Saturday 20 January 2018.


The Broadcasting Standards Authority has upheld a complaint from Hastings District Councillor Damon Harvey concerning our coverage of the aborted Rocketlab launch from January of this year.

The BSA ruled that Newshub’s coverage breached standards of fairness and accuracy.

The full text of the BSA’s ruling can be found here: