Rocket Launch in New Zealand Brings Quick, Cheap Space Access

Elon Musk’s SpaceX caused a massive upheaval in this market by showing that a private space company could launch large rockets at a fraction of the cost — $60 million per flight – and do so much more often.

Rocket Lab represents a second dramatic shift in the launch industry toward smaller, cheaper rockets that fly almost every day. It makes a 56-foot tall rocket (Electron) versus SpaceX’s 230-foot tall rocket (Falcon 9) and charges $5.7 million per launch. SpaceX can take far more cargo to space, but Rocket Lab is pitching its nimbleness and low-cost as ways to give new customers access to space and to do so on a more convenient schedule.