Wanted: One rocket launch pad

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - NEWS -

Rocket Lab, an Amer­i­can company with of­fices in New Zealand, has cre­ated a light­weight rocket for launch­ing satel­lites.

The firm is build­ing a world­first car­bon-com­pos­ite launch ve­hi­cle, named Elec­tron, at its Auck­land fa­cil­ity to re­duce the price of launch­ing satel­lites to less than US$ 5m. The firm says the av­er­age cost to launch a satel­lite is around US$133m.

The lead-time for busi­nesses to launch a satel­lite will also be re­duced from years to weeks us­ing the firm’s launch fa­cil­ity. It claims to have at­tracted “strong com­mer­cial de­mand” for its ser­vice with com­mit­ments for its first 30 launches.

New Zealan­der Peter Beck founded the company in 2007 with a vi­sion of elim­i­nat­ing the com­mer­cial bar­ri­ers to space.

“The in­no­va­tion be­hind Elec­tron will re­lease the lim­i­ta­tions on launch­ing small satel­lites,” he says. “Our vi­sion at Rocket Lab is to make space com­mer­cially vi­able and more ac­ces­si­ble than ever be­fore, do­ing what the Ford Model T did for con­sumer au­to­mo­biles. This tech­nol­ogy will re­ally open space for business.

“Along with ben­e­fits for com­mer­cial en­ter­prises, cheaper and faster space ac­cess has the po­ten­tial to lead to more ac­cu­rate weather pre­dic­tion, global high speed in­ter­net ac­cess, as well as real-time mon­i­tor­ing of the im­pacts of hu­man de­vel­op­ment,” says Beck

Beck says ge­o­graph­i­cally, New Zealand is in an ideal launch po­si­tion for a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent types of or­bits and plans are un­der­way to build a space port here.

“This will bring an in­no­va­tive and ex­cit­ing new in­dus­try to New Zealand with eco­nomic ben­e­fits at both a re­gional and na­tional level. We’re cur­rently con­sid­er­ing a short­list of re­gions as po­ten­tial lo­ca­tions for a space port and en­cour­age any re­gion in­ter­ested to get in touch with us now,” says Beck.

Rocket Lab’s prin­ci­pal fun­der is Sil­i­con Val­ley gi­ant Khosla Ven­tures, a top-tier ven­ture cap­i­tal firm that sup­ports com­pa­nies with pro­jected rev­enues in ex­cess of US$1bn.

Peter Beck of Rocket Lab is hop­ing to launch satel­lites from New Zealand.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.