A space entrepreneur has started a firm that has permission to launch rockets in New Zealand. Peter Beck’s firm, Rocket Lab, launched 25 satellites. One of them was designed to measure the atmosphere of Jupiter.
Beck spoke on his venture at the TED2019 conference in Vancouver, Canada. He said the company concentrates on delivering small satellites from commercial and government sectors to space. He explained that satellites used to be the size of small buses. Now, they have shrunk to the size of microwaves and that creates the need for small rockets to launch them.
Rocket Lab needs around $7 million to launch its Electron rocket from its New Zealand base. The company has so far completed five deliveries to specific orbits. It recently delivered for the American Pentagon’s Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Rocket Lab is not the only company in the business of launching rockets. Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit is also in the same business.
Beck explained that it was particularly hard to venture into the market. He said, “Space is enormously hard. There are lots of considerations like infrastructure and regulation, so there are huge barriers to entering this market.” He, however, believes that there is a new age venture in space launching to be explored.
Rocket Lab is now building a second launch pad in the United States. It is also considering a third in Scotland.
Space Foundation has predicted that the international space industry will be worth $720 billion by 2030. Projections have it that the biggest growth will come from launching satellites.