However, because the launch vehicle is so cheap to manufacture, Rocket Lab can charge $5 million to put a payload into space, placing spaceflight within the range of smaller, less deep-pocketed customers.
Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told SpaceNews that the succesful launch meant the company would move forward with commercial missions.
Small satellites are becoming more common..
Experts say this is the first successful launch of a mini-rocket carrying satellites that weigh less than 100 kilograms each.
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As with launch locations in the United States, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 is located on a remote area of land within New Zealand - providing increased safety and a natural barrier to curious humans. The second flight, called "Still Testing", will attempt to place three satellites into orbit, an Earth-imaging Dove satellite for the company Planet, as well as two Lemur-2 weather and ship tracking satellites for Spire Global.
Rocket Lab has successfully reached orbit with the test flight of its second Electron orbital launch vehicle, Still Testing.
The Electron rocket, built with 3D-printed engines and a mostly composite construction, is designed for rapid manufacture and a high launch rate.
In December, Electron missed its 10-day window after delays from weather and a last second abort.
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This was the second of three planned test launches.
New Zealand officially joined the ranks of commercial space-faring nations on Sunday and made history at the same time.
The firm, with the successful launch, has vowed to go into commercial operations as soon as possible.
"Very nice launch. My heartiest congratulations to the Rocket Lab team". Eventually, the plan is to launch much more frequently, perhaps more than 50 times a year, and this weekend's test flight is a big step toward making that happen. But Rocket Lab does have five completed Electron rockets available, and expects to fly again in "early 2018".
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"We're thrilled to reach this milestone so quickly after our first test launch", Beck said.