Rocket Lab
Rocket Lab Ltd. is a New Zealand firm that designs and fabricates sounding rocket
Sounding rocket
A sounding rocket, sometimes called a research rocket, is an instrument-carrying rocket designed to take measurements and perform scientific experiments during its sub-orbital flight. The origin of the term comes from nautical vocabulary, where to sound is to throw a weighted line from a ship into...

s and propulsion systems.

The first launch of the Ātea-1 (Māori
Maori language
Māori or te reo Māori , commonly te reo , is the language of the indigenous population of New Zealand, the Māori. It has the status of an official language in New Zealand...

 for 'space') suborbital sounding rocket was scheduled for late 2009. The 6m long rocket weighing 60 kg is designed to carry a 2 kg payload to an altitude of 120 km. It is intended to carry scientific payloads or possibly personal items.

Atea-1 was successfully launched from Great Mercury Island near Coromandel
Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula lies in the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Waikato Region and Thames-Coromandel District and extends 85 kilometres north from the western end of the Bay of Plenty, forming a natural barrier to protect the Hauraki Gulf and the Firth of Thames in the west...

 on November 30, 2009 at 2:30pm after fueling problems delayed the scheduled 7.10am liftoff.

A larger Ātea-2 series rocket is reported to be under development.

Some funding has been obtained from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology
Foundation for Research, Science and Technology
The Foundation for Research, Science and Technology was a Crown Entity of New Zealand, established by the Foundation for Research, Science, and Technology Act 1990....

. Former Crown Research scientist Peter Beck is founder, CEO and Technical Director.

External links

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