The countdown begins - with another rocket potentially blasting off from Hawke's Bay this month.

Rocket Lab recently announced its second test window to launch its Electron rocket from their Launch Complex 1 site at Mahia Peninsula.

The "Still Testing" flight is the second of three in Rocket Lab's Electron test programme and follows May's successful inaugural test flight.

Read more: Rocket Lab's 'stack test' in Waikato a success


Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said he understood the rocket would be transported to the site in the next fortnight, and could launch as soon as the end of October.

The Auckland-based company has not said when exactly the launch window would be.

It is thought there could be some scrubs during the second test-flight attempt, but eager spectators are expected to try and catch a glimpse of the launch.

Unlike the turbulent weather conditions which marred May's launch attempt, he hoped the skies would be clearer for the second flight, giving any spectators a "spectacular" view.

The council has developed a viewing area in Nuhaka - between Wairoa and Mahia - which could be developed further once commercial launches begin.

Although in its early stages, it is hoped the district will receive a boost from Rocket Lab activity - with the council already looking at how to maximise any benefits so the district can become the "Gateway to the Galaxy".

"It's pretty exciting and it puts Wairoa on the map, that's the biggest thing," Mr Little said. "People can now say Wairoa's the only place in New Zealand that launches rockets, and probably one of only 11 places in the world to launch a rocket."

Looking forward, Mr Little said they would need to take things "step by step" to see how Rocket Lab's presence could change the district.


"If people come in and we haven't got enough accommodation in Wairoa they'll stay elsewhere, but I think it's a progression thing, it'll slowly get better and better and who knows, if we need more accommodation more accommodation might come."

Mahia had already seen the benefits - with cafes, and accommodation on the peninsula kept busy with the large amount of personnel involved with Rocket Lab, he said.

The second launch marks a "significant milestone" for the company, as it will be carrying clients' payloads - two Earth-imaging Dove satellites for Planet and two Lemur-2 satellites from Spire for weather mapping and ship traffic tracking.

The first test launch had to be terminated before it reached orbit because of an issue with an independent contractor's ground equipment.