Rocket Lab sent a trio of research satellites for the U.S. military into orbit tonight from a launch pad that’s thousands of miles from America’s shores, in New Zealand.
The Los Angeles-based company’s low-cost Electron rocket lifted off from its seaside launch facility on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula at 6 p.m. May 5 local time (11 p.m. PT May 4). It was Rocket Lab’s second launch of 2019, and its sixth mission overall.
After liftoff, the Electron’s second stage separated from the first-stage booster, and then released its “kick stage” to deploy the satellites in orbit.
“Perfect flight, complete mission success, all payloads deployed!!” Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck tweeted.