Falcon Heavy is carrying 24 satellites for the space agency, Department of Defense research labs and other partners.
'We think this is a key stepping stone on the way towards establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars and a base on the moon,' says Musk,
Satellites in orbit will be able to provide high-speed internet across the globe.
The effort aims to cut the costs of spaceflight and make expensive rocket parts more reusable, like aeroplanes.
Rocket Lab represents a dramatic shift in the launch industry toward smaller, cheaper rockets that fly almost every day.
The UK is a “geographically strategic location for launch” with its northern latitudes, and well-placed to reach polar and near-polar orbits, the UK Space Agency said.
Mission control briefly lost contact with the satellites after a malfunction.
The satellites are part of the Galileo navigation project.