photo by Rocket Lab
On November 30, 2009 the Manu Karere rocket was lifted off at 2.28 p.m. (local time) from Great Mercury Island (New Zealand) and performed an exemplary 22 second burn.
It was a 6-metre-long, 60kg rocket Atea-1. The rocket reached its target speed of up to Mach 5, or 5000 km/h, reaching at least 100 km altitude and spent between 10 and 20 minutes in the sky before splashing down.
The rocket was named Manu Karere which means Bird Messenger. The rocket was made by the Rocket Lab private company.
It is the first time a privately-owned rocket has been launched in the southern hemisphere.