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Move over, NASA: New Zealand’s Rocket Lab is hunting for a U.S. spaceport

Move over, NASA: New Zealand’s Rocket Lab is hunting for a U.S. spaceport
[Photo: courtesy of Rocket Lab]

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.

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:

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