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Rocket Lab launches first rocket carrying only commercial satellites from Mahia Peninsula

Rocket Lab has launched its first rocket taking only commercial satellite cargo from its launch pad on the Mahia Peninsula.

The rocket blasted off at 4.50pm, soon after a new launch window period of just over a week began at 4pm.

The mission is called 'It's Business Time' and sees six satellites, plus a technology demonstrator, being sent to Low Earth Orbit.

Rocket Lab founder and chief executive Peter Beck says while successfully reaching orbit and deploying payloads this year was a significant milestone for the company, transitioning from this to regular, streamlined production and launch operations cements Rocket Lab's position as leader in the small launch industry. 

"This year has been about scaling our team, facilities and processes to enable reliable, high frequency Electron launches to orbit," Mr Beck said. 

"The ability to build and test multiple vehicles, while operating concurrent launch campaigns, strongly positions Rocket Lab as the industry leader opening access to space for small satellites," he said.  

Rocket Lab has launched its first rocket taking only commercial satellite cargo. Source: Twitter/ Emily Calandrelli

Rocket Lab was unable to launch the Electron rocket earlier in the year because of a technical issue, but did have a successful test launch in January.