September 26, 2016
Owner / Operator:
Mahia Peninsula, New Zealand
UTC+12 (winter) UTC+13 (summer)
88 m (289 ft)
Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 is a privately-owned commercial spaceport located at the Southern tip of Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand. The facility is owned and operated by US launch services provider Rocket Lab, which uses it to launch the company’s Electron rocket.
Rocket Lab began work towards its first launch facility in early 2015 by identifying two possible locations. The company select Kaitorete Spit in New Zealand’s South Island near Canterbury as a preferred location. However, delays in obtaining resource consents for development forced the company to move ahead with its backup location in New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula. The resource consent application for the new location was approved by the Wairoa District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council in just seven days.
In December 2015, Rocket Lab broke ground at Mahia and by June 2016 all major infrastructure development had been completed. After signing an air traffic service agreement with Airways New Zealand in early September 2016, the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 facility was officially opened on September 26, 2016.
The first Electron rocket was launched from the Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 facility on May 25, 2017. Although the launch was successful, a telemetry issue following first stage separation resulted in the vehicle being destroyed by range safety. The first successful mission launched from the facility lifted off less than a year later on January 21, 2018, at 01:43 UTC.