New Zealand Develops Regulatory Regime for Space Launches

New_Zealand_coat_armsAUKLAND, NZ (NZ Government PR) — The Government is putting in place a new regulatory regime to enable safe, secure and responsible space launches from New Zealand, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says.

“New Zealand is rapidly building a more diversified hi-tech economy, and one of the companies at the very leading edge of technology is our own home-grown start-up, Rocket Lab,” Mr Joyce says.

“The company and its parent company, Rocket Lab USA, are almost ready to start launching rockets commercially, and we need to introduce a regulatory framework so they and others that come after them can operate from New Zealand.”

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New Zealand, US Reach Technology Safeguard Agreement for Rocket Lab Launches

New_Zealand_coat_armsAUKLAND, NZ (NZ Government PR) — Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Foreign Minister Murray McCully today announced that an agreement has been reached between the Governments of New Zealand and the United States of America covering the safeguards associated with the use in New Zealand of controlled U.S. rocket technology.

New Zealand will have a world class space regulatory framework which includes the Technology Safeguards Agreement (TSA) with the United States, accession to the United Nations Convention on Registration of Objects launched into Outer Space, and a new law governing space and high altitude activities.

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A Look at Rocket Lab Funding Sources

Founder and CEO Peter Beck displays Rocket Lab’s accumulated expertise in carbon composite launch vehicles. (Credit: Rocket Lab)
Founder and CEO Peter Beck displays Rocket Lab’s accumulated expertise in carbon composite launch vehicles. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

Small-satellite launch provider Rocket Lab has received funding over the past four years from the United States and New Zealand governments as well as Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures.

Rocket Lab announced in January 2011 that it had completed the first phase of a contract with the Defense Advanced Research Agency (DARPA).

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New Zealand Launches First Rocket

Piece of rocket found off Coromandel
TVNZ

Part of New Zealand’s first space rocket has been found bobbing in the ocean off the Coromandel Peninsula coast.

A fisherman called researchers just after 10am to say he had seen the booster floating off Great Mercury Island.

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New Zealand Entering the Space Age

First NZ space rocket ready for blast off
The National Business Review

Just half a century after it began, New Zealand is set to enter the space race.

In the week beginning November 30 (subject to weather), Rocket Lab’s Atea-1 “launch vehicle” (what most of us would call a rocket) is due to blast off, carrying a payload 120km into the heavens (space starts at 100km up; the international space station orbits at around 320km above us).

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