Aerospace company Rocket Lab has confirmed its first fully-commercial rocket launch will take off from Mahia in just a few weeks.

The United States-based orbital launch provider confirmed its next launch will be a fully-commercial flight to put two Lemur-2 cubesats into orbit for launch customer Spire Global.

Those would be used to provide commercial ship-tracking and weather monitoring services.

Rocket Lab would confirm a full launch manifest in coming weeks.


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The flight's name was put to a vote on social media, with "It's Business Time" coming out as a clear fan favorite and a continuation of company's previous flight names, "It's a Test" and "Still Testing".

Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck said "It's Business Time" highlighted Rocket Lab's agile approach to responsive space.

"The launch has been manifested just weeks out from launch, rather than the many months or years it can typically take under existing launch models.

"As the satellite industry continues to innovate at break-neck pace and the demand for orbital infrastructure grows, we're there with a production line of Electron vehicles ready to go and a private launch site licensed for flight every 72 hours.

"Launch will no longer be the bottleneck that slows innovation in space.

"We always set out to test a launch vehicle that was as close to production-ready as possible. To complete a test program so quickly and be flying commercial customers is a great feeling. It's business time."

Rocket Lab's third Electron vehicle will be shipped to Launch Complex 1 on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula in coming weeks, where final checkouts will be completed, A date for the launch window will be announced following those final checks.

This year Rocket Lab is increasing its launch cadence and scaling up production of the Electron launch vehicle to meet a growing manifest.

The company aimed to produce 100 Rutherford engines in 2018 from its three-acre headquarters and production facility in Huntington Beach, California.

More than 30 engines have already been completed and are undergoing integration onto Electron vehicles.

Rocket Lab's first test launch, "It's a Test," was completed in May 2017, with the second test, "Still Testing," taking place in January 2018.

That flight successfully reached orbit, deployed commercial customer payloads for Planet and Spire Global and circularized an orbit using a previously unannounced kick stage - Rocket Lab's Humanity Star.