New rocket launch site landing in Virginia

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A Rocket Lab Electron at its New Zealand site. Source: Kieran Fanning/Rocket Lab

California-based Rocket Lab has picked the Virginia Space and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on the Eastern Shore as the site for the company’s first rocket launch facility in the United States. The launch facility is being called Launch Complex-2 (LC-2).

Rocket Lab will launch its 57-foot-tall Electron rocket from Launch Complex-2. The Electron rocket can launch about 500 pounds of cargo to orbit. For comparison, bowling lanes are 60-feet long.

A launch vehicle integration and assembly facility, which will be located nearby in Wallops Research Park, is also being built.

Rocket Lab, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and Virginia Space are looking to launch the first Electron rocket from Launch Complex-2 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport as early as summer 2019.

Rocket Lab already is launching from a facility on the Mahia peninsula of New Zealand. The new Virginia launch facility is planned to help Rocket Lab meet demand from commercial and government customers.

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