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Electron is a two-stage (sometimes three-stage) orbital launch vehicle developed by Rocket Lab, an American aerospace company founded in New Zealand.[14] Electron was developed to service the commercial small satellite launch market.[15] Its Rutherford engines are the first electric-pump-fed engine to power an orbital-class rocket.[16]

Although the rocket is designed to be expendable, Rocket Lab considers adding capabilities to reuse the first stage of Electron.

In December 2016, Electron completed flight qualification. The first rocket was launched on 25 May 2017,[17] reaching space but not achieving orbit due to a glitch in communication equipment on the ground.[18] During its second flight on 21 January 2018, Electron reached orbit and deployed three CubeSats.[19] The first commercial launch of Electron, and the third launch overall, occurred on 11 November 2018.[20]