16 Dec 2018

Lift off for second Rocket Lab commercial rocket

7:45 pm on 16 December 2018

Rocket Lab has launched its second commercial rocket carrying 13 NASA satellites into orbit.

Watch the launch here:

It is the company's second commercial flight, and the first in which its teamed up with the US space agency, NASA.

If all goes to plan, the rocket will deploy 13 NASA satellites into space from a launch pad on the Mahia Peninsula.

Rocket Lab spokesperson Morgan Bailey earlier said things were looking promising for a launch today.

"This is a hugely significant mission, both for Rocket Lab and NASA. It's the first time that NASA has booked a whole launch vehicle dedicated just to [Cube Satellites]," she said.

The spacecraft, including 10 CubeSats - mini satellites used for space research - are scheduled to be launched into low Earth orbit.

The launch window closes on 21 December.