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Doing it in Gizzy (and around the East Coast)


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Author Topic: Doing it in Gizzy (and around the East Coast)  (Read 2075 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #50 on: February 09, 2015, 01:29:04 pm »


from The Gisborne Herald....

The end of an era

By JOHN GILLIES | Wednesday, February 04, 2015



RAEY WHEELER kept filmgoing alive in Gisborne through its darkest days, but yesterday she, herself, succumbed to continued ill health.

She died in Gisborne Hospital after her latest setback, which included a bout of pneumonia. She was 85.

Mrs Wheeler was perhaps the last active theatre operator from the heyday of the Kerridge Odeon national cinema chain.

She turned around the fortunes of Gisborne’s Odeon theatre by investing $2.25 million and transforming it into a multiplex with three screens in 1995.

To do this, she and her advisers had to convince bankers that a woman past retirement age had the energy and business acumen to make it work.

As patrons responded to the greater choice of films, Mrs Wheeler continued improvements to the multiplex and added two more auditoriums.

But any prospect of such development looked to have been taken away from her in August 1991, when two Pacer Kerridge representatives came to Gisborne to tell her she was no longer required. She had been offered a franchise for the theatre but rejected the terms.

At that stage she had been with the Kerridge organisation for almost 32 years and been Odeon manager for nearly 21.

Two weeks later, she had bought the building.

At the time it was acquired by Pacer, Kerridge Odeon was debt-free and owned prime sites in nearly all major centres. But after the sharemarket crash of 1987, the Odeon theatre was among the properties sold to repay debt.

In 1991 it was on the market again, and Mrs Wheeler bought it and the neighbouring Quillars building on the Peel Street-Gladstone Road corner.

In April the following year she was back as manager of the theatre and before long was its independent operator.

In 2003, Mrs Wheeler was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal.

Contributions as a district councillor, Vanessa Lowndes Centre board member, Greater Gisborne committee member, and Business and Professional Women’s Club stalwart were the more obvious examples of her community service.

Less obvious were the children she had taken home “all over town” when they had no ride or the film had finished earlier than expected, or the youngsters she took a chance on and gave work in the Odeon.

For many years she kept an “emergency kit” on hand at the theatre — jumper leads for vehicles whose lights had been left on, a coat-hanger for opening cars locked with the keys inside, and a tow-rope.

Mrs Wheeler was an ardent champion of Gisborne. She and her friend and workmate Grace McGaveston collected the Alfred Cox fleamarket fees for Gisborne’s information centre for 15 years.

As gentlemen’s clubs opened up their membership, she was the first woman to be a member of the Poverty Bay Club.

Doreen Raey Jackson was the youngest of four daughters of Ted and Kathleen Jackson, who farmed two properties, one at Puha and the other at Te Karaka. She and her sisters milked the cows and helped with the cropping.

As a young woman, she worked in Te Karaka’s Lane’s Bakery and sold sweets at the picture theatre. It was at the theatre she met Ernest Wheeler.

At the urging of his aunt, Gertrude Wheeler, “Ernie” had learned to be a projectionist. Impressed with what Robert Kerridge was doing in the theatre industry, Gertrude Wheeler had another nephew, Wilfred, buy theatres in Hicks Bay, Te Araroa, Ruatoria, Tikitiki, Tokomaru Bay and Te Karaka. The chain was called East Coast Theatres.

After World War 2, Ernie Wheeler went to Te Karaka to be the manager/projectionist and married the young woman who sold the sweets.

Mr Wheeler took a position as theatre manager for Kerridge Odeon in Otorohanga. He and Mrs Wheeler stayed there for six years and had two children, Selwyn and Karl.

On their return to Gisborne, Mr Wheeler worked for the New Zealand Forest Service. Mrs Wheeler got a job as an usherette at the Regent a week after they arrived back. Grace McGaveston had started in the same role two months before. Another long-serving staff member, projectionist Darrol Walsh, had joined the Kerridge organisation four years earlier, as a tray boy serving ice creams and sweets inside the Regent Theatre.

The other Kerridge theatre in Gisborne, the Majestic, was modernised and reopened as the Odeon in 1969. Mrs Wheeler went there as cashier and within a year was offered the job of manager. She asked her husband what he thought and when he expressed doubts, it gave her just the incentive she needed.

She kept the theatre running when the film industry fell on hard times, particularly the 1980s.

She had already endured loss — Ernie had died in 1976 at the age of 58 — and she would know it again. Her younger son, Karl, died in 1997, aged 39.

In good times and bad, the Odeon sustained her. Family members pitched in as her health deteriorated in later years but, after a couple of hours on the oxygen bottle in the afternoon, she was usually ready to greet patrons for the evening session.

Her interactions with the public were sometimes terse — it seems everyone has a Mrs Wheeler story — but she came to be a Gisborne institution whose achievements were, at least, respected and often admired.

She is survived by her son Selwyn and sisters Doris and Ruth. Another sister, Mary, predeceased her.


http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/article/?id=40408
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« Reply #51 on: February 09, 2015, 01:30:21 pm »


from The Gisborne Herald....

‘May the film keep rolling’

By MURRAY ROBERTSON | Thursday, February 05, 2015



TRIBUTES have flowed across the community and the country for Gisborne movie matriarch Raey Wheeler as preparations are made for her funeral service on Monday.

Mrs Wheeler passed away on Tuesday. She was 85.

Bob Kerridge, son of movie mogul Sir Robert Kerridge who started the movie chain she became part of, has described Raey as “the perfect citizen.”

Her funeral service is to be held in Holy Trinity Church from 1pm on Monday afternoon.

Odeon Multiplex staff say a steady stream of people have called into the theatre since Tuesday to offer condolences, and some have left floral tributes.

A large number of tributes have been made by many people on social media.

“Rest in peace Mrs Wheeler. You struck fear into my heart when I was young and earnt my respect as I aged. You will be a Gisborne icon forever xx,” said one person on Facebook.

Raey Wheeler was a district councillor in the 1990s and John Clarke — the mayor at that time — is among those who have paid tribute to her.

“Raey was passionate about Gisborne and made a real contribution as a councillor,” he said.

The Gisborne Herald has received a number of Letters to the Editor about her, among them one from Marlene Andrew.

“Sad news that such an icon and champion of Gisborne has passed on,” she writes.

“I remember this woman from being a toddler going to the movies with my parents and as I grew being dropped off to the movies by myself in school holidays, and Raey keeping an eye out for me until mum arrived to pick me up.”

“Sometimes I believe she could be terse but she firstly had seen many generations enjoy the picture theatre and the attitudes of the young deteriorate as time went on.”

“She called a spade a spade, took on the big boys and won doing things her way. Raey Wheeler kept the entertainment of going to the pictures alive in Gisborne when it became so close to being lost to a whole generation. Rest in peace Raey ... may the film keep rolling.”

William Babbington wrote: “This is such a shock. I remember my days of going to the movies and getting told to spit my gum out in her hand or even whistling out to other people because she thought they hadn’t paid.”

“Such a staunch and classy woman of Gisborne. The Odeon will never be the same without her.”

Other comments made on Facebook have likewise paid tribute.

“RIP Mrs Wheeler — You provided my parents with their first date in 1963, two tickets to The Sound of Music.”

“As the number one date venue for our town I can’t help but wonder how many other families were forged under your roof.”

“Thank you for the movies that gave us wonderful memories which has carried us all through for generations, you were a true pioneer for our beautiful city,” said another on Facebook.

“Your whistling will be missed. Haha No. You are our Gizzy icon,” said another.

“Raey, you never said NO to me, always donated to various fundraisers, Matawai School and squash club, dressage group, Matawhero sports. Shared stories of your jewellery and seeing your chandeliers. Your kindness was appreciated. RIP.” was another message left.

“I knew you in my teens. You saw something in me that not many others could see. Thank you for taking me under your wing.”

“Such a strong woman, but so soft on the inside.”

Long-time friend David Hall has suggested her funeral service be held outside the theatre.

“Close the Odeon block off — It would be a great send off for our wonderful Raey and the weather forecast looks good. I think Holy Trinity will be too small.”

Fellow theatre owner Allan Webb, from Te Awamutu, says Raey was well-known and respected by all members of the New Zealand cinema industry.

“She was an icon and we never believed she would leave the Odeon. We thought she was invincible.”

Another letter writer to The Gisborne Herald put it this way.

“No matter what, whether you were grumpy or not, you earned your place in Gizzy history. So many remember back in the days getting caught in the pictures and at Spaceworld doing stuff we shouldn’t.”

“But it wasn’t just all grumps. You also cracked a joke or two with us. I’m so glad my daughter also grew up going to the pictures with you at the helm, you’re also embedded in her memories!”

“Many prayers and condolences to your family ‘Ma Wheeler’.”

“You are so, so, so going to be missed.”


http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/article/?id=40420
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« Reply #52 on: February 09, 2015, 01:30:55 pm »


from The Gisborne Herald....

Raey the ‘last bastion’ of cinema operators

By MURRAY ROBERTSON | Thursday, February 05, 2015



RAEY WHEELER was the “perfect citizen” and Gisborne was so very lucky to have her as part of the community, says the Bob Kerridge, eldest son of Kerridge Odeon theatre chain founder Sir Robert Kerridge.

Mrs Wheeler died on Tuesday at the age of 85.

“There won’t be many in Gisborne who won’t be sad about Raey’s passing,” Bob Kerridge said. “She was known by everybody and, I think, loved by everybody.”

Mr Kerridge said Mrs Wheeler was one of the last old-style cinema people.

“She really was the last bastion of the true cinema operators as we know them.”

“Things are quite different now and I feel the cinema industry has lost some of its charm because of it.”

“The owners and managers don’t stand or sit at the front door and welcome you into the theatre anymore, but Raey did.”

What impressed him most about Mrs Wheeler was just how strong she was as a person in every respect, he said.

“The way she hung on to the movie theatre complex in Gisborne demonstrated that strength.”

“She did everything with a real business sense and, quite honestly, she ran rings around a lot of other business people — both men and women.”

“Raey was as strong as anyone you would ever meet.”

Mr Kerridge and his wife came to Gisborne when he launched his book Father and Son and called in to see Mrs Wheeler at the Odeon Multiplex.

“The first thing that struck me was her tiny little office and in a place of prominence in it was my favourite photograph of my late father.”

“She did have tremendous respect, admiration and, I think I can say, affection for my father.”

“It was lovely to see that photograph and of all the theatre managers and owners I have visited over the years, I’ve only ever seen it displayed on someone’s desk once before.”

“That told me heaps about Raey.”

Mr Kerridge said he would also remember her “sense of community”.

“Raey knew everything and everyone and she helped people wherever she could.”

“I would have to class her as a perfect citizen and Gisborne was very much richer for having her in the community.”


http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/article/?id=40421
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« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2015, 06:01:55 pm »


from The Dominion Post....

Soldier statue returns to Gisborne Cenotaph

2:35PM - Friday, 10 April 2015

The soldier on top of Gisborne's Cenotaph has returned to his vantage point.
The soldier on top of Gisborne's Cenotaph has returned to his vantage point.

THE SOLDIER on top of Gisborne's cenotaph has finally returned to his vantage point.

The three-metre-high, 1.2-tonne marble statue was removed in 2013. It was removed to repair structural damage caused by the December 2007 earthquake.

The statue was loaded into a protective cage before a crane lifted him to the strengthened foundations on Friday morning.


Gisborne's soldier is loaded into a cage before being lifted onto the cenotaph.
Gisborne's soldier is loaded into a cage
before being lifted onto the cenotaph.


A blessing was held to mark the soldier's return, which signals the final stage of the cenotaph's restoration project.

Project manager Kylie Cranston said landscaping work was also under way around the cenotaph, including adding new lighting, pavers and bollards, and a riverside cycle and walkway.

Work was on track to be completed in time for Anzac Day.

The cenotaph, located on the banks of the Turanganui River, was unveiled in 1923 to honour servicemen from the Gisborne district who lost their lives during the First World War.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/67686942/soldier-statue-returns-to-gisborne-cenotaph
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« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2015, 05:19:28 pm »




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« Reply #55 on: July 21, 2015, 02:07:30 pm »


from The Gisborne Herald....

End of story … the Dom is going

By MARK PETERS | Friday, July 17, 2015

Retailer John Grant reads The Dominion Post while seated in one of his barber's chairs.
Retailer John Grant reads The Dominion Post while seated in one of his barber's chairs.

GISBORNE subscribers to The Dominion Post are shocked to hear their daily read of the print edition is about to end.

Avid reader of The Dominion Post, The New Zealand Herald and The Gisborne Herald, James Forbes says The Dominion Post's decision to terminate deliveries of the national newspaper to Gisborne subscribers and retailers from August 3rd will leave a gap in his reading.

“I was shocked when my caregiver said there would be no more Dominion Post after August.

“I don't just read the paper — I digest it.”

The decision to stop home and retail deliveries of The Dominion Post to this region from August 3rd was made after a review of the newspaper's circulation in the area, says an email from the national newspaper.

“A new digital edition of The Dominion Post is available online, and can be accessed via desktop and as an app on iPad and Android tablets.”

“Subscribers and retailers have been informed of the changes.”

Mr Forbes says the thought of reading The Dominion Post online does not appeal to him.

“I’m not into these modern devices. A lot of people at my time of life like to read the paper page by page.”

Gisborne subscriber Barbara Barwick also says she will miss her daily read.

“I do look forward to the thunk of The Dominion Post in its 100 percent biodegradable bag as it is thrown over the fence.”

“Reading it online will not be the same as walking out in my nightie to pick up the paper and open it up.”

“There’s something about the newsprint edition. The feel of the paper, the smell of it, the pictures. You are not tied to a machine. You have the freedom to read it whenever and wherever you want.”

Part of the reason The Dominion Post is unable to continue deliveries to Gisborne is because the press used to print the Wellington-based newspaper is also used to print New Plymouth and Palmerston North newspapers, says The Gisborne Herald's managing director Michael Muir.

These go to print before The Dominion Post, so home delivery cannot be guaranteed by 7.30am. The newspaper also faces aggressive marketing here by The New Zealand Herald.

Retailer John Grant says The Dominion Post's decision is a sign of the times.

“We have already cancelled The New Zealand Herald because over the winter months only a couple of customers came in to buy it. There were no returns with The NZ Herald so we lost money over unsold papers.”

Grant Brothers shop assistant Ollie Griffiths says she and many others will miss the print edition of the national daily.

“Everyone enjoys sitting down to read the newspaper. When I go home from work I have a cup of tea and read the paper. Nothing is more relaxing.”


http://www.gisborneherald.co.nz/article/?id=42368
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« Reply #56 on: July 21, 2015, 08:34:48 pm »

Great news...think of all the trees that will be saved...and the jobs axed.....the greens will be over the moon😜
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« Reply #57 on: August 13, 2015, 07:21:17 pm »


Some video footage taken in the Tiniroto area on Monday....





Tiniroto is on the inland route (formerly SH36) between Gisborne and Wairoa.


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« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2016, 04:17:27 pm »


from The Gisborne Herald....

Family hat-trick

A rare generational coincidence has a Gisborne family celebrating.

10:34AM — Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Photograph: Paul Rickard/The Gisborne Herald.
Photograph: Paul Rickard/The Gisborne Herald.

GISBORNE grandfather John Morrell (not pictured) jokes he is going to have to rotate birthday present giving for wife Chris Morrell (left), daughter Sara Wilson (right) and now, young Willow Wilson, through three-year cycles. Chris, Sarah and Willow were all born on February 21st.

Willow, who arrived on Sunday, is the most recent of the family triangle. Chris Morrell, who works in Gisborne Hospital's maternity ward and was at the birth, said she was emotional yesterday.

“Willow's beautiful,” she said of the her third grandchild.

This generational coincidence is rare but there are several accounts of it happening in other parts of the world. A British betting agency reported the odds of a baby girl being born on the same day as her mother and grandmother at more than 133,000 to one.

Mr Morrell is a betting man and said he wished he had put $5 on it.


http://gisborneherald.co.nz/localnews/2197378-135/family-hat-trick
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« Reply #59 on: September 20, 2016, 03:52:06 pm »


from the Sunday Star-Times....

New Zealand space industry prepared for takeoff

The country's conditions just so happen to be exactly what you want to launch rockets.

By HAMISH MCNICOL | 5:00AM - Sunday, 18 September 2016

New Zealand is about to become just the 11th country to put a satellite into orbit. — Photograph: NASA.
New Zealand is about to become just the 11th country to put a satellite into orbit.
 — Photograph: NASA.


NEW ZEALAND, seen as the nation of cows, could soon become the nation with the highest frequency of space launches anywhere in the world.

A clunky way for it to be framed, maybe, but this was Rocket Lab boss Peter Beck's vision for the country, about to become just the 11th to put a satellite into orbit.

It sounded ambitious: “If you look at the other 10, the majority of those are super powers,” Beck said.

But support for a New Zealand space industry has grown, and some have suggested all systems are go for its takeoff.

And with it already estimated to have a potential economic impact worth $1.5 billion over the next 20 years, the call has gone out for other companies to take advantage.

This month, state-owned Airways, the provider of air traffic control services for the country, and Rocket Lab signed a deal to ensure regular rocket launches here could be safe.


Airways chief operating officer Pauline Lamb says space companies just need to take a “deeper look” at New Zealand. — Photograph: Iain McGregor/Fairfax NZ.
Airways chief operating officer Pauline Lamb says space companies just need to
take a “deeper look” at New Zealand. — Photograph: Iain McGregor/Fairfax NZ.


Rocket Lab planned to do up to 100 launches into space a year, and Airways chief operating officer Pauline Lamb said at the time the country was positioning itself as the ideal place to access space from.

“Hopefully it's the first of many.”

This week, Lamb said other space companies just needed to take a “deeper look” at the country for its appeal to become obvious.

A relatively uncongested airspace and an appetite for new technologies, meant Airways had already helped about 120 near-space launches in New Zealand airspace, and NASA and Google had both chosen the country for balloon launches.

“I think the industry's changing from the days where you had NASA launching rockets, now other people launch rockets and it's not one size fits all,” Lamb said.

“We recognise that here in New Zealand and we can adapt to whatever the requirement is.”


New Zealand could soon be the country with the highest frequency of rocket launches in the world. — Photograph: NASA.
New Zealand could soon be the country with the highest frequency of rocket launches
in the world. — Photograph: NASA.


This meant balloons, drones, rockets, whatever — although how the local industry would expand was difficult to predict.

She mentioned Airways had been approached by a few drone companies to try things here, but overall her message was clear.

“Please come here and try it out.”

Lamb also pushed the work of the Government, which in June said it was putting in place a new regulatory regime to enable safe, secure and responsible space launches from the country.

Economic Development minister Steven Joyce said the space economy was becoming immensely important.

“There is the opportunity to build New Zealand's capacity and expertise across a broad spectrum of space and high altitude activities, from rocket technology to the use of satellites to perform functions that benefit our economy, environment and society; as well as attracting offshore talent and investment.”


Lane Neave corporate solicitor Maria Pozza, a specialist space and aviation lawyer, says New Zealand is set to become a space-faring nation.
Lane Neave corporate solicitor Maria Pozza, a specialist space and aviation lawyer,
says New Zealand is set to become a space-faring nation.


Lane Neave corporate solicitor Maria Pozza, a specialist space and aviation lawyer, said the new legislation regarding activities in outer space and launching from New Zealand not only safeguarded the country's interests, but also demonstrated to the world the infrastructure was in place for space businesses to come here.

Foreign companies would therefore “seriously begin” to consider New Zealand, she said.

“It is realistic that New Zealand will become a space hub, especially for small satellite launches and operations as a result of its geographical location, excellent governance structures and reputation for technological ingenuity.”

“New Zealand is set to become a space-faring nation.”

Beck from Rocket Lab has a slightly different take on what a New Zealand space industry looked like, and it was not necessarily one which had competing operators.

“That's not what we want, that's the opposite of what we want.”

But he conceded he has fielded a “number of conversations” from some very large companies, and said his company had “certainly paved the way” for others.


Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck says the growth in space for New Zealand will come from the utilisation of space and space assets, not launching them.
Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck says the growth in space for New Zealand will
come from the utilisation of space and space assets, not launching them.


The company's site on Mahia Peninsula, which is on the East Coast south of Gisborne, was the first private orbital launch range in the world, licensed to launch every 72 hours for the next 30 years.

There was a strong geographical reason for the United States company to base itself in New Zealand, he said, which basically came down to it being an area quiet enough to allow regular commercial launches.

But the launch site it settled on, having flirted with one in Canterbury, also provided it with a wide launch range the equivalent of the West and East Coast of America combined.

“When you go and put a satellite in orbit it's not just about going to space, you've got to get it exactly in the right point.”

“It's the one advantage of New Zealand being a small, island nation in the middle of nowhere — that just happens to be exactly what you want when you go to launch rockets.”


New Zealand's features are exactly what you want for launching rockets. — Photograph: Robert Kitchin/Fairfax NZ.
New Zealand's features are exactly what you want for launching rockets.
 — Photograph: Robert Kitchin/Fairfax NZ.


In July, Rocket Lab signed up United States technology company Planet for at least satellite launches, using Rocket Lab's Electron rocket.

The 18-metre tall Electron rocket was designed to send satellites into orbit for as little as US$50,000 (NZ$68,000) — “materially” cheaper than the alternatives.

“When we launch later this year and early next, as a company we'll become only the second private company in the history of the planet to have ever put a satellite in orbit,” Beck said.

This was where he saw the real growth opportunity for New Zealand — not more launch sites, but around what launches enabled other businesses and people to do.

A report from Sapere Research Group in June found Rocket Lab's establishment of a rocket launch industry in New Zealand would contribute between $600m and $1.55b to the economy over the next 20 years.

Beck said the small satellite industry was the highest growth area in the space industry at the moment, with many people unaware how much it influence their daily lives — from television to communications.

Rocket Lab was fully-booked for launches next year, and 2018 was headed the same way.

“Satellites are geographically agnostic so all you need is a bunch of smart guys with a good business plan and you can really go after some big markets in the satellite industry.”

“The growth area for New Zealand is going to be around the utilisation of space and space assets, not launching them.”


ROCKET LAB

__________________________________________________________________________

Related stories:

 • Airways hopes Rocket Lab launch will be ‘first of many’

 • Rocket Lab signs Planet satellite company as new launch customer

 • ‘Time is right’ for New Zealand to launch space science technology centre

 • New Zealand's space policy: Government lays out rocket rules and United States pact

 • Rocket Lab reaches satellite launch milestone

 • Rocket Lab signs satellite company Spire as customer


http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/84299891
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« Reply #60 on: December 10, 2017, 01:26:09 pm »


from STUFF/Fairfax NZ....

Rocket Lab ‘still testing’, expected to launch on Monday

By ANUJA NADKARNI | 4:49PM - Saturday, 09 December 2017

Rocket Lab will launch the Electron rocket from Mahia Peninsula between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.
Rocket Lab will launch the Electron rocket from Mahia Peninsula between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

THE LAUNCH of Rocket Lab's second Electron rocket is expected to take place on Monday.

The launch over the Māhia Peninsula will be the first attempt to put satellites into orbit from New Zealand.

Rocket Lab spokeswoman Morgan Bailey said there were positive signs Monday would bring ideal technical and weather conditions to green light the take off.

The company opened the 10-day launch window last week but cancelled its launch on Friday due to high altitude winds.

Last month the company's Kiwi founder, Peter Beck, said the best way to watch the launch would be online, rather than in person.

“If it was me, I wouldn't drive for eight hours, I would stay at home and watch it on the internet. We are still in the testing phase so there is not really any infrastructure there for people to view it from,” Beck said.

A live video stream will start about 15 minutes before the launch, which could be any time between 2.30pm and 6.30pm.

STUFF intends to publish a link to the video stream on the day of the launch.


Rocket Lab built its 23-metre-long carbon-fibre Electron rockets to put satellites into orbit.
Rocket Lab built its 23-metre-long carbon-fibre Electron rockets to put satellites into orbit.

Over the 10 minutes of the rocket's flight, people should be able to see images from cameras on board the Electron which will be making its first attempt to deploy three satellites into orbit.

The 23-metre carbon-fibre Electron rocket is capable of carrying a 150 kilogram payload into orbit and has been dubbed “Still Testing”. This time it will mostly be carrying equipment to test its performance.

Three satellites will be on board, rather the previously planned four.

Two satellites are owned by United States company Spire Global, which is mostly in the business of tracking ships and planes, and the other by fellow US firm Planet Labs which is for aerial photography.

Each is about the size of a shoebox.

Although Planet Lab's biggest customers are in agriculture, it also markets its services to defence and intelligence agencies.

Images from one of its satellites were used by US-South Korean academic institute 38 North to analyse the deteriorating condition of North Korea's Mount Mantap nuclear test facility and were circulated in the media in September.


Three satellites will be on board to track ships, planes and one for aerial photography.
Three satellites will be on board to track ships, planes and one for aerial photography.

Beck said he would be watching the launch from “mission control”.

“At ‘T minus 10 minutes’ we go into an automatic sequence that is computer controlled, so the vehicle takes control of itself at that point.”

“Once it is launched there is no command that we can give apart from ‘flight termination’.”

Earlier this year Rocket Lab successfully launched its first rocket but fell short of orbit.

Bailey said Rocket Lab held a “wet dress rehearsal” launch last week on Friday that went “very smoothly”.

A wet dress rehearsal plays out the launch day without a lift-off. The rocket was filled with fuel, rolled onto the launch pad and all data points were tested.

Beck said his team had put their hearts and souls into this project.

The main purpose of this launch was to learn, he said.

“Obviously we want a completely successful mission and we want to deploy the payloads [satellites], but the point of it is to learn and to gather more data from the flight.”


ROCKET LAB

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Wind delays Rocket Lab's ‘Still Testing’ launch

 • Rocket Lab to stream next month's Electron launch over the internet

 • Rocket Lab successfully launches first test rocket but falls short of orbit


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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

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