When small launch vehicle developer Vector announced it was suspending operations Aug. 9, many in the industry wondered if this was the beginning of a long-anticipated shakeout of an overcrowded market.
Small launch vehicle company Vector has replaced its founding chief executive and disclosed that financial difficulties have forced the company to suspend its operations.
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.
Startups in the burgeoning small launch vehicle market acknowledge that only a handful of vehicles will survive a likely shakeout, driven more by commercial rather than government demand.
Three launch vehicle developers, one of which is still in stealth mode, have qualified to compete in a DARPA competition in early 2020 to demonstrate responsive launch capabilities.
Even though Vector Launch filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Lockheed Martin, the Arizona startup is not eager to spend millions of dollars fighting the aerospace giant.