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.
Small launch vehicle developer Relativity announced May 6 it has signed an agreement with Spaceflight for a series of smallsat rideshare launches.
Small launch vehicle developer Relativity announced April 5 a contract with Telesat to launch a portion of that company’s low Earth orbit broadband satellite constellation.
Small launch vehicle developer Relativity has added three people, all of whom previously held key positions at SpaceX, to its leadership team as it refines the technologies it will use on its rockets.
Developers of small launch vehicles, who have promoted their vehicles as providing dedicated access to space for small satellites, say they’re also open to flying rideshare missions as they face competition from larger rockets.
Relativity Space, the startup developing a small launch vehicle making extensive use of 3D-printing technologies, has brought on board a former SpaceX and Virgin Orbit executive to help grow the company.