Rocket Lab Launches Secret Payload From New Zealand

Alan Boyle, GeekWire

GeekWire contributing editor Alan Boyle is an award-winning science writer and veteran space reporter. Formerly of NBCNews.com, he is the author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference." Follow him via CosmicLog.com, on Twitter @b0yle, and on Facebook and MeWe.

Rocket Lab Launches Secret Payload From New Zealand

After waiting out high winds, Rocket Lab's low-cost Electron rocket launched a top-secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office from New Zealand, halfway around the world from the U.S. spy satellite agency's headquarters.


Liftoff for the "Birds of a Feather" mission took place at 6:56 p.m. PT today (3:56 p.m. local time Friday), nearly three hours after the day's launch window opened. Rocket Lab's team faced excessively high ground winds, but the breeze subsided in time for the company's first liftoff of 2020 and its 11th mission to date. After stage separation, the rocket's kick stage continued on its way to deploy the NROL-151 payload about an hour after launch.

The nature of the payload isn't known — but back in 2018, the NRO's director at the time, Betty Sapp, said the agency wanted "to explore what the tiny rocket marketplace can provide for us." Although the launch took place on New Zealand's Mahia Peninsula, the California-based Rocket Lab is cleared for U.S. governmental and military launches. It has previously sent payloads to orbit for NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, as well as for civilian satellite operators.

Eventually, Rocket Lab aims to try recovering its first-stage boosters for reuse, but this time around, it intended only to collect the data recorded by the booster during its guided re-entry and splashdown into the Pacific Ocean. The privately held company is definitely on its way up: It's expanding to a second launch pad on Virginia's Wallops Island, and is building yet another pad in New Zealand.

This story originally appeared in GeekWire. Love space and science? Sign up for GeekWire's Space & Science email newsletter.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Los Angeles’ Wage Growth Outpaced Inflation. Here’s What That Means for Tech Jobs

Inflation hit cities with tech-heavy workforces hard last year. Tech workers fortunate enough to avoid layoffs still found themselves confronting rising costs with little change in their pay.

Those national trends certainly touched down in Los Angeles, but new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the city of angels was the only major metro area that saw its wage growth grow by nearly 6% while also outpacing the consumer price index, which was around 5%. Basically, LA was the only area where adjusted pay actually came out on a net positive.

So, what does this mean for tech workers in LA County?

Read moreShow less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Energy Shares Gears Up To Bring Equity Crowdfunding to Retail Investors
Photo by Red Zeppelin on Unsplash

The Inflation Reduction Act contains almost $400 billion in funding for clean energy initiatives. There’s $250 billion for energy projects. $23 billion for transportation and EVs. $46 billion for environment. $21 billion for agriculture, and so on. With so much cash flowing into the sector, the possibilities for investment and growth are gigantic.

These investment opportunities, however, have typically been inaccessible for everyday retail investors until much later in a company’s development–after an IPO, usually. Meaning that the best returns are likely to be captured by banks and other institutions who have the capital and financing to invest large sums of money earlier in the process.

That’s where Pasadena-based Energy Shares comes in. The company wants to help democratize access to these investment opportunities and simultaneously give early-stage utility-scale energy projects another revenue stream.

Read moreShow less

Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home

Aisha Counts
Aisha Counts is a business reporter covering the technology industry. She has written extensively about tech giants, emerging technologies, startups and venture capital. Before becoming a journalist she spent several years as a management consultant at Ernst & Young.
Why These Ukrainian Entrepreneurs Are Making LA Their Home
Joey Mota

Fleeing war and chasing new opportunities, more than a dozen Ukrainian entrepreneurs have landed in Los Angeles, finding an unexpected community in the city of dreams. These entrepreneurs have started companies that are collectively worth more than $300 million, in industries ranging from electric vehicle charging stations to audience monetization platforms to social networks.

Dot.LA spent an evening with this group of Ukrainian citizens, learning what it was like to build startups in Ukraine, to cope with the unimaginable fear of fleeing war, and to garner the resilience to rebuild.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending