Five-year licence to launch

Another giant step

Another giant step

The granting of a five-year operating licence for Rocket Lab has been described as a significant achievement for a country that only recently joined a short list of space-faring nations. Rocket Lab picture

Mahia’s rocket launch complex has been given government approval to operate for another five years.

The New Zealand Space Agency has taken the next step in implementing New Zealand’s space legislation with the granting of launch and facility licences to Rocket Lab.

The licences are the first to be granted under the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act 2017 (OSHAA), marking an important step for the regulator of New Zealand’s space sector.

It gives Rocket Lab authorisation to operate from its private launch facility on Mahia Peninsula for the next five years.

Under the OSHAA, separate licences are required for the launch of a vehicle from New Zealand and operation of a launch facility in New Zealand.

Rocket Lab had been operating under a detailed contract (external link) with the New Zealand government, as well as launch licences from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

While ensuring all necessary checks and balances were met, the agreement was an interim measure to allow launching to commence while fit-for-purpose legislation was developed.

New Zealand Space Agency head Dr Peter Crabtree said it was a significant achievement for a country that had only recently joined the short list of space-faring nations.

“As a regulator of a relatively new industry it is vital that our legislative requirements are implemented,” said Dr Crabtree, who is also the science, innovation and international general manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“The launch and facility licences formalise our regulatory relationship and provide Rocket Lab, the Government and the general public with greater clarity and assurance moving forward.

“Rocket Lab has met a number of tests under the OSHAA designed to ensure launch activities are safe, that personnel are technically capable, activities are in accordance with New Zealand’s national interests and international obligations,, and that orbital debris mitigation plans are in place.

“It is absolutely critical for the broader space industry in New Zealand to have strong regulatory systems in place for the long term.

“The regulatory framework that we have moved at pace to implement ensures that all people conducting outer space or high-altitude activities are operating safely and securely, while encouraging innovation and industry development.”

Rocket Lab spokeswoman Morgan Bailey said the granting of licences for launches, as well as the Rocket Lab launch facility itself, was an important step in ensuring the continued development of a New Zealand space industry.

“As the only private orbital launch complex in the world, this is a significant step for the global space industry, not just New Zealand.”

Mahia’s rocket launch complex has been given government approval to operate for another five years.

The New Zealand Space Agency has taken the next step in implementing New Zealand’s space legislation with the granting of launch and facility licences to Rocket Lab.

The licences are the first to be granted under the Outer Space and High-altitude Activities Act 2017 (OSHAA), marking an important step for the regulator of New Zealand’s space sector.

It gives Rocket Lab authorisation to operate from its private launch facility on Mahia Peninsula for the next five years.

Under the OSHAA, separate licences are required for the launch of a vehicle from New Zealand and operation of a launch facility in New Zealand.

Rocket Lab had been operating under a detailed contract (external link) with the New Zealand government, as well as launch licences from the US Federal Aviation Administration.

While ensuring all necessary checks and balances were met, the agreement was an interim measure to allow launching to commence while fit-for-purpose legislation was developed.

New Zealand Space Agency head Dr Peter Crabtree said it was a significant achievement for a country that had only recently joined the short list of space-faring nations.

“As a regulator of a relatively new industry it is vital that our legislative requirements are implemented,” said Dr Crabtree, who is also the science, innovation and international general manager for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

“The launch and facility licences formalise our regulatory relationship and provide Rocket Lab, the Government and the general public with greater clarity and assurance moving forward.

“Rocket Lab has met a number of tests under the OSHAA designed to ensure launch activities are safe, that personnel are technically capable, activities are in accordance with New Zealand’s national interests and international obligations,, and that orbital debris mitigation plans are in place.

“It is absolutely critical for the broader space industry in New Zealand to have strong regulatory systems in place for the long term.

“The regulatory framework that we have moved at pace to implement ensures that all people conducting outer space or high-altitude activities are operating safely and securely, while encouraging innovation and industry development.”

Rocket Lab spokeswoman Morgan Bailey said the granting of licences for launches, as well as the Rocket Lab launch facility itself, was an important step in ensuring the continued development of a New Zealand space industry.

“As the only private orbital launch complex in the world, this is a significant step for the global space industry, not just New Zealand.”

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the parking plan change the council is seeking, to reduce parking requirements for new business developments in the inner harbour?