US Rocket Lab reaches orbit for first time

Electron during pad integration – via Rocket Lab

Electron during pad integration – via Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab's Electron rocket successfully reached orbit and deployed three satellites Saturday night Pacific time in the Huntington Beach, Calif., rocket company's second test flight. Rocket Lab said that if the mishap hadn't occurred, the Electron would have made it to orbit.

Rocket Lab said previously that the results of the "Still Testing" launch, if the rocket "performs nominally", may cause the company to accelerate the Electron program into commercial use.

Beck says the company will continue to base launches out of New Zealand, saying "right now we have all the capacity we need".

The Electron rocket blasted off from a launch site in New Zealand on Sunday.

The small-satellite launch company's Electron rocket carried an Earth-imaging satellite and two satellites that enable weather and ship tracking, which were meant to help Rocket Lab gather "crucial data and test systems for the deployment state of a mission". The successful launch has huge implications for the#Small Satellite market and for one company's dream for landing on the moon.

"Electron is orbital. Successful payload deployment", the company tweeted.

Apple offers replacement iPhone batteries effective immediately
On Saturday, Apple announced that it would offer discounted replacement iPhone batteries and make them available in January . The company also faces a legal complaint in France, where so-called "planned obsolesce" is against the law.

Moon Express's dream of a private lunar landing closer to reality.

Experts say this is the first successful launch of a mini-rocket carrying satellites that weigh less than 100 kilograms each. Its goals go beyond winning a prize competition.

Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said the launch marked the beginning of a new era in commercial access to space.

"Very nice launch. My heartiest congratulations to the Rocket Lab team".

"We're thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after our first test launch", Beck said.

The company had conducted several launch attempts in December which failed to take off. But Rocket Lab does have five completed Electron rockets available, and expects to fly again in "early 2018".

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