So Rocket Lab wants to overtake SpaceX

Peter Beck and Elon Musk are not only visually similar. Both unite a visionary approach to new technologies. Both have been working on conquering space for a very long time.

Rocket Lab is getting closer and closer to SpaceX

Nevertheless, with SpaceX, Musk is a bit ahead of Rocket Lab, of which we hear comparatively much less – possibly also because of the lower public that Beck claims for himself. Rocket Lab also operates the business of launching small satellites using a specially designed rocket.

The rocket of the company from New Zealand, called electron, which is now based in the USA but still takes off from New Zealand, ranks second on the list of the most-launched rockets of all time, behind SpaceX’s Falcon 9.

The electron rocket is also inexpensive and reliable. It also contains innovations such as 3D-printed engines. So far she can look back on 21 starts. Only the Falcon 9 took off more frequently from the Launchpad with 125 starts.

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2021: IPO and direct competition to Falcon 9

Now Rocket Lab is working on a more modern rocket called the Neutron. It will be larger, partially reusable and should be able to transport larger payloads. An order from the US space agency NASA has already been received. Rocket Lab is scheduled to transport a Mars probe in 2024. With this more powerful rocket at the latest, Beck puts his company in direct competition with Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Unlike SpaceX, which was previously privately owned, Beck floated its Rocket Lab on the stock exchange in August via the merger with a SPAC. The company received $ 777 million. Since Rocket Lab went public, the stock has risen 56 percent and is currently hovering just under $ 16.

Rocket Lab offers slots on its own satellite buses

Rocket Labs Photon-Satellit im Labor. (Screenshot: Techcrunch/t3n)

Rocket Lab ensures a continuous flow of money through regular order launches for small satellites. The company also manufactures components for satellites itself. Another innovation by New Zealander Peter Beck is the so-called Proton satellite bus. This is a satellite unit that customers can equip with modules. This saves them having to start individual cubesats, which makes their projects much cheaper.

The space startup Garda recently secured three of these satellite buses. This will result in factories in weightlessness. Organs are to be bred there, among other things. The Photon concept is enjoying some popularity, and the small satellite launch offer is also running successfully.

Peter Beck and Elon Musk – similar on several points

Similar to Elon Musk, Peter Beck knew very early on where his professional journey would lead. In high school, for example, he had to hear from a tutor that a career as a rocket builder was “absurdly unattainable”. Not entirely without good reason, because after dropping out of his studies he initially “only” developed supercomputers and wind turbines before he succeeded in designing a spacecraft.

Otherwise, Musk and Beck are very similar. In addition to age, this even affects appearance. Perhaps there is a phenotype of its own for visionary rocket builders?

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