NZ Space Company Rocket Lab Secures Major US Contract
NZ Space Company Rocket Lab Secures Major US
On November 30th, 2009, private New Zealand aerospace company Rocket Lab launched the nation’s first suborbital rocket towards space entering New Zealand into an elite group of countries with an indigenous space launch capability. The aim of the launch was to showcase the company’s technology, capabilities and to attract international aerospace contracts to New Zealand shores.
Following a number of invited trips to the USA into organisations such as NASA and significant commercial space companies, Rocket Lab has secured a major US contract which will see the commercialisation of some of its rocket technologies into the US market. The venture is between Rocket Lab and L2 Aerospace, a US aerospace company focused on developing innovative flight systems, technologies and solutions supporting the commercial, civilian and military markets. “L2 Aerospace is very excited about the new opportunities this venture brings,” explains General (USAF, Retired) Lance W. Lord, L2 Chief Executive Officer. “This collaboration opens the door to vast opportunities in the aerospace markets, and we look forward to participating in this venture. This promising partnership has the potential to expand into other programs by leveraging the combined expertise of two pioneering aerospace companies.”
Company founder and CEO Peter Beck said today, “It has been a lot of hard work but also very exciting times. I have had the opportunity to see some remarkable operations, people and hardware and at the end of the day whether it be a giant corporation or a small company on the other side of the world, we are all trying to solve the same engineering problems. However, our way of solving the problems are un-burdened by regular convention, historic methods or bureaucracy, so our solutions tend to be quite different and that is what really excited the US space industry”.
The company has also achieved a number of other significant commercial milestones this year. It was awarded a US Government grant to study new rocket fuels and forms of rocket propulsion. It also supplied some of its new thermal ablative products to major space companies such as Lockheed Martin, Andrews Space and to the Australian Defence Force. The company continues to enjoy support from central Government and Government agencies such as the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology in order to develop and commercialise world leading technologies in a new high value niche area. Congratulating Rocket Lab on the new contract, Minister of Research, Science and Technology Wayne Mapp said that, “New Zealand’s economic growth will be built on innovative thinking and high-quality research and development. Rocket Lab’s successes to date show that New Zealand can compete in the international space industry”