Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Rocket Lab To Develop Third Launch Pad

The new pad, located at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, is designed to streamline launch operations and will create 15 local roles across engineering, logistics, and support functions

Mahia, New Zealand. 19 December 2019 – Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, will develop a new launch pad located at Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand’s Māhia Peninsula. The new pad will be the company’s third launch pad for the Electron launch vehicle, joining the existing pad at Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand and the newly opened pad at Launch Complex 2 in Virginia, USA.

The new pad, to be named Launch Complex 1 Pad B, is the latest in a series of developments by Rocket Lab to support frequent and responsive launch capability for small satellites, including manufacturing automation at the company’s Auckland Production Complex, and continued development of recovery technology that will make Electron a reusable rocket.

“Launch Complex 1 is the gateway to space for small satellites that help us better understand our planet, manage resources, and connect with each other,” says Rocket Lab’s Vice President – Launch, Shaun’ D’Mello. “We’ve launched satellites that provide accurate weather and climate modelling; deliver internet connectivity from space; enable new methods of eliminating space junk; conduct scientific research; and much more. The addition of a second launch pad will enable more of these payloads to reach orbit, while also growing our local team of employees and suppliers.”

Initially opened in 2016, Launch Complex 1 encompasses a launch pad, range control operations, and vehicle integration facilities equipped to process two Electron vehicles simultaneously. The site is also home to two 100K class cleanrooms for payload processing, each with dedicated customer rooms.

More than 25 people are currently employed at Launch Complex 1 across a range of engineering, logistics, administration, and trades roles, and more than 300 suppliers across the Hawkes Bay have supported local Rocket Lab operations. With the creation of a second pad at Launch Complex 1 and gradually increased launch activity, more than 15 new roles will be available at Launch Complex 1 in the next 12-18 months.

Pad B will be built within the existing area leased by Rocket Lab from Onenui Station, with no additional land required or new buildings to be built as part of the development. Preparatory work for the pad’s construction is currently underway with local Wairoa District business Quality Roading and Services, with the site scheduled for completion in late 2020.

George Mackey, spokesperson for Onenui Station's owners Tawapata South Incorporation says, “It’s pleasing to see the progress that Rocket Lab has made in a very short period of time. We’re looking forward to more successful missions from Launch Complex 1 as the new launch pad comes into operation next year.”

Pad B will replicate the layout and systems of the current operational Pad A, including a 7.6-ton strongback and launch mount for the Electron vehicle. Pad B will also make use of existing shared infrastructure, including the vehicle integration facility and range control.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Paymark: Lockdown Equals Slowdown For Some

The three days of lockdown for Auckland earlier this month made a clear impression on our retail spending figures. While only Auckland moved into Level 3 lockdown, the impact was felt across the country, albeit at different levels. Looking at the ... More>>

Infrastructure Commission: Te Waihanga Releases Report On Water Infrastructure

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga’s latest discussion document highlights the importance of current reforms in the water sector. Its State of Play discussion document about water infrastructure is one of a series looking at the ... More>>

Sci-Tech: Perseverance Rover Lands On Mars – Expert Reaction

NASA has landed a car-sized rover on the red planet to search for signs of past life. The vehicle has more instruments than the four rovers preceding it, and it’s also carrying gear that could help pave the way for human exploration of Mars. The ... More>>


ASB: Quarterly Economic Forecast Predicts OCR Hike As Early As August 2022

Predictions of interest rate rises have been brought forward 12 months in ASB’s latest Quarterly Economic Forecast. Chief Economist Nick Tuffley now expects the RBNZ to begin raising the OCR from its current level of 0.25% as early as August ... More>>

ACT: Matariki Almost A Half Billion Dollar Tax On Business

“Official advice to the Government says an extra public holiday at Matariki could cost almost $450 million,” ACT Leader David Seymour can reveal. “This is a perfect example of the Prime Minister doing what’s popular versus what’s responsible. ... More>>

Genesis: Assessing 6,000 GWh Of Renewable Generation Options For Development By 2025

Genesis is assessing 6,000 GWh of renewable generation options for development after starting a closed RFP process with 11 partners. Those invited to participate offer a range of technologies as Genesis continues to execute its Future-gen strategy to ... More>>

OECD: Unemployment Rate Stable At 6.9% In December 2020, 1.7 Percentage Points Higher Than In February 2020

The OECD area unemployment rate was stable at 6.9% in December 2020, remaining 1.7 percentage points above the level observed in February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the labour market. [1] In December, the unemployment rate was also stable ... More>>

Stats NZ: Unemployment Drops To 4.9 Percent As Employment Picks Up

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in the December 2020 quarter, from 5.3 percent in the September 2020 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Last quarter’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent followed the largest increase observed ... More>>