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A SpaceX launch costs over $60 million. This company sends rockets to space for just $5.7 million

Rocket Lab is bringing the cost of satellite launches down to earth.

A SpaceX launch costs over $60 million. This company sends rockets to space for just $5.7 million
[Illustration: Kevin Moran]





While Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk brag about their enormous rockets, capable of carrying heavy payloads into space, L.A.-based Rocket Lab has embraced a different strategy. Its 56-foot Electron rocket can carry only about 500 pounds, but it can reach space for just $5.7 million per launch (SpaceX, by contrast, spends $62 million to $90 million per trip), making putting satellites into orbit a possibility for companies both small and large. Rocket Lab had its first successful launch in January 2018, followed by two more that year. “We’re backlogged for the next year and a half,” says CEO Peter Beck, who has 12 more planned for 2019, along with a new launch site in Virginia. His clients include NASA (which popped some miniature CubeSats aboard) and imaging companies such as Planet and Canon.

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About the author

Ruth Reader is a writer for Fast Company. She covers the intersection of health and technology.

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