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Kiwi rocket getting closer to lift off - with electric motor the size of a Coke can

An Auckland-based aerospace company has unveiled the engine it hopes will power its rockets into space.

Rocket Lab plans to regularly deploy satellites into space at a fraction of the cost charged by rivals Source: 1 NEWS

Rocket Lab plans to regularly deploy satellites into space at a fraction of the cost charged by competitors.

"We have an electric motor that's basically the size of a Coke can and it produces over 50 horsepower at 40,000rpm," says Rocket Lab Founder Peter Beck.

The motor's job is to pump enough propellent for combustion and thrust.

Mr Beck, who has been at the fiery end of rocket design for the past decade, hopes the new rocket will revolutionise the launching of small satellites.

"If you can build a network or constellation of small satellites some really exciting things can start happening like internet from space, cellphones from space and real time weather," he said.

The rocket was built from the thrusters up with many any parts made using 3D printing.

"There is a space race on. Make no doubt about it. Whoever can build a small satellite launcher that can launch frequently and cost effectively is going to take out a very big market," says Mr Beck.

The rocket set to get off the ground in the coming months.