Rocket Lab’s first US launch: Big for the company and the site

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For years, the Electron rocket and the company behind it had been stuck in limbo at the Virginia launch site, waiting on various approvals—for regulatory agencies to share enough paperwork with each other to convince everyone that the launch was safe. AdvertisementWhile the electron was still visible from two miles away as flames first appeared underneath it, it quickly vanished as it left the launch pad, the bright flames were quickly all you could see thanks to the nighttime launch. About that launchThe Electron is a relatively small rocket, capable of putting only a few hundred kilograms into orbit, so the launch experience is very different from massive vehicles like the Shuttle, SLS, and Falcon Heavy.

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