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Aerospace startup Rocket Lab launched its

experimental Electron rocket for the first

time from New Zealand today — marking

the first of three test flights the company

hopes to do this year before the vehicle

begins commercial launches. While the

rocket successfully made it to space three

minutes after take off, it “didn’t quite reach

orbit” as planned, according to Rocket

Lab’s CEO, Peter Beck. The company will be

investigating why and will aim for the

Electron to get to orbit during its second

test flight.

“Reaching space in our first test puts us in

an incredibly strong position to accelerate

the commercial phase of our program,

deliver our customers to orbit, and make

space open for business,” Beck said in a

statement.

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