Above: The Rutherford Engine. Credit Rocket Lab
While satellites today are becoming smaller and lighter, rocket technology has remained prohibitively large and costly. Constellations of satellites no bigger than a lunchbox can now outperform traditional multi-billion dollar assets.
Peter Beck, CEO of New Zealand-based private spaceflight company Rocket Lab, tells Popular Science:
“If you look at a launch vehicle and where the bulk of the cost derives from, you quickly arrive at the rocket engine. It’s really difficult to build a low-cost rocket engine, and one you can produce in large numbers.”
Rocket Lab estimates that the new 65 feet long and 3 feet wide rocket, for launching satellites of up to 220 pounds into space, will only cost about $4.9 million for each liftoff.
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Our mission is to make space open for business.
via Popular Science
source Rocket Lab