New Zealand’s Space Program

This is New Zealand. (At the bottom right).

And this is the main part of the North Island, with the Mahia Peninsula sticking out of the SE coast.

Here’s the Mahia Peninsula. You can stay at the Onenui Farm Stay, I am sure it’s very nice. But note those bare paddocks right at the southern tip – that is part of Onenui Station.

That’s the farmer, and some of his sheep, which seem to have gone out of the gate. It probably doesn’t matter much.

But what is that in the middle of the bare paddock?
It is the launch site for the NZ Space program.

The company involved, Rocket Lab, 3-D print their rockets. Now, the NASA rockets cost $100 million and upwards. Elon Musk’s Space-X rockets cost $60 million, but he brings them back down the right way up (as opposed to the usual disastrous “nose down” method of re-entry) and re-uses them. But Rocket Lab’s NZ rockets cost only $5 million. They can 3-D print a new one in 24 hours.

That’s one fresh off the printer, (“here’s one I made this morning”), and here it comes. Maybe towed by the farmer’s tractor?

They had the Onenui launch site blessed by the local Maori elder.

The first rocket is ready to launch today – they are waiting for the weather to clear. As well as a 150kg satellite to be put into orbit, the rocket will carry Maori artefacts and a sample of Onenui soil into space.

How very civilised.

Here in Australia we don’t even HAVE a space program.
God bless New Zealand.

POSTSCRIPT
… and it was the best birthday I ever had. W’ll d’n, f’llas.

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2 Responses to “New Zealand’s Space Program”

  1. mandtmarsh Says:

    “New Zealand space programme” + “waiting for the weather to clear”.
    Hmmm.

    Like

  2. Jennie Goldsack Says:

    YAY!!

    Like

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