This was the first time that a rocket with 3D-printed engines has been successfully launched from New Zealand. The first test took place in May 2017, but that rocket did not manage to enter orbit. The aerospace company Rocket Lab has successfully launched an Electron rocket from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand on Sunday after several failed attempts, Radio New Zealand (RNZ) reported.
"Today we debuted and successfully put in orbit the very first small launch vehicle that the industry has ever seen, we've ushered in a new era for access to space," Rocket Lab's chief executive Peter Beck said, cited by the media outlet. The US start-up, with a subsidiary in New Zealand, first attempted to launch the rocket on Saturday, but had to interrupt the process when two rogue vessels were spotted nearby.
A second attempt took place later the same day, but again had to be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. READ MORE: 3D Printing Doubles Number of Your Hands, And They All Work (VIDEOS)
The Electron rocket is a two-stage carrier rocket capable of delivering small satellites to the Earth's orbit at an unprecedented frequency. The super light-weight vehicle has become the first rocket with engines almost entirely made using a 3D printer. During its first test in May 2017 the rocket managed to reach space, but didn't make it into orbit due to communication problems.