Rocket Lab Completes Its First Orbital Launch Complex
[Via Satellite 09-27-2016] Rocket Lab has announced the completion of its first orbital launch complex, Launch Complex 1. Located on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula, Launch Complex 1 is designed to enable a high frequency of space. The facility will be the primary site for launches of Rocket Lab’s Electron vehicle, designed to lift a 150 kg payload to a 500 km sun-synchronous orbit.
New Zealand’s remote island location and low volume of marine and air traffic create ideal conditions for frequent launch opportunities, according to Rocket Lab. Launches from the site are able to access a range of orbital inclinations from 39 degrees through sun-synchronous.
Facilities at Launch Complex 1 include a vehicle-processing hangar where the vehicle will be prepared for launch as well as a 50-ton launch platform. The platform will tilt forward to lift the rocket to a vertical position prior to launch.
Satellites launched from the complex will be used to provide services including optimized crop monitoring, improved weather reporting, internet from space, natural disaster prediction, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services, according to Rocket Lab.