Rocket Lab Plans First Test Flight Of Satellite Launch Rocket

Rocket Lab, a Huntington Beach-based startup developing launch rockets, is hoping to join SpaceX as the second, venture-backed rocket developer in Southern California to reach space with a launch on May 22nd. Rocket Lab--which is venture backed by Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Data Collective, Promus Ventures, Lockheed Martin and K1W1--said it is targeting a 10-day, launch attempt window from May 22, for its first launch attempt of its Electron rocket. Rocket Lab, which is led by Peter Beck, started developing its rockets in 2006. Rocket Lab said its first launch, with the mission name of "It's a Test", will take place from a launch site on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand. Unlike SpaceX, Rocket Lab's rockets are specifically geared towards small satellite payloads, with a carbon composite rocket designed to carry up to 225kg payloads for elliptical orbit, and 150kg with a 500km sun synchronous low earth orbit (LEO).