Rocket Lab’s first test flight reaches space

Rocket Lab Electron launch
Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket rises from its New Zealand launch pad. (Rocket Lab via Twitter)

Rocket Lab says its first Electron rocket “made it to space” after a test launch from a New Zealand pad, marking a big step toward its goal of putting payloads into orbit for $5 million.

Liftoff came at 4:20 p.m. May 25 New Zealand time (9:20 p.m. PT May 24), after earlier opportunities had to be passed up due to weather concerns.

In a statement, Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said the rocket achieved an outer-space altitude but fell short of going orbital.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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