Small launch vehicle developer Relativity Space has won a contract to launch six Iridium replacement satellites, which it plans to carry out from a new launch site it proposes to develop at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Relativity Space has hired a longtime SpaceX executive to help the startup scale up production of its small launch vehicle.
Relativity Space VP: “The most impactful thing that government can do is actually go out and buy services from startups."
Elizabeth Driscoll, business development director at Spaceflight, said the company is constantly in need of more launch options, but won’t rush to new vehicles without confidence they will deliver.
SpaceX plans to launch regular Falcon 9 rideshare missions starting in March and won’t delay launches for tardy customers, a company executive said Oct. 8.
As Rocket Lab prepares the next launch of its Electron rocket, it and other small launch vehicle developers say the U.S. government can be a better, and smarter, customer for their services.
Despite a surge in Chinese launch activity and growth of commercial Chinese launch developers, executives with American companies said they’re not worried about potential competition with them.