Rocket Lab, the New Zealand-based, Silicon Valley-funded space launch company, is looking for a new launch site for its Electron rocket—and it is targeting the United States.
The aerospace startup, which operates the world’s only private orbital launch pad situated on the Mahia Peninsula in northwest New Zealand, has narrowed its selection down to four sites on both the East and West coasts, as well as Alaska. If it starts launching from Cape Canaveral, it will be competing for space with SpaceX and Blue Origin. On Twitter, the company said it would make its final decision in August.
We're thrilled to confirm we're building a US launch site for Electron. Four space ports are shortlisted: Cape Canaveral, Wallops Flight Facility, Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base. Confirmed site to be announced in August. https://t.co/BZ7BQ0HbMg
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) July 10, 2018
Rocket Lab has already successfully launched two test flights of its battery-powered, partly 3D-printed Electron rockets, one in May 2017 and another in January 2018. However, its first commercial mission—the ridiculously named flight “It’s Business Time”—was delayed from late June when it discovered a problem with the launch vehicle’s motor. It will schedule a new launch window for the mission soon.
Or maybe after a few jobs get filled:
Join the team launching to orbit.
We're looking for Production Managers, Mechanical Assembly Fitters, Propulsion Test Engineers, Avionics Fit-Out Techs, Process Engineers and more!
— Rocket Lab (@RocketLab) July 11, 2018