Kiwis in Space

Well  maybe. According to the news article below our cousins across the ditch have managed to launch an private rocket into Space. However there seems to be no independent verification of the altitude reached.:

New Zealand’s first space rocket has launched this afternoon.

The Atea-1 took off from its launch site at Great Mercury Island just before 3pm, after technical problems delayed this morning’s planned launch.

The launch company, Rocket Lab Ltd, started up three years ago with the aim to develop a series of Atea rockets that would make space more accessible, company director Mark Rocket said last week.

“This is the first step in a long journey,” he said.

The 6-metre-long craft should reach speeds of up to Mach 5, flying 120km into the air, before splashing down in the sea, where it will be picked up.

It is the first time in the southern hemisphere a privately owned company has launched a rocket to space.

Atea is the Maori word for space as the team wanted an indigenous name for the rockets.

The first rocket Atea-1 has been named Manu Karere by the local Thames iwi, which means Bird Messenger.

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