Space company sells its rocket technology to US

Peter Beck, chief executive and technical director of Rocket Lab. Photo / Steven McNicholl
Peter Beck, chief executive and technical director of Rocket Lab. Photo / Steven McNicholl

New Zealand space company Rocket Lab has secured a deal which will see its rocket technologies commercialised in the United States.

Rocket Lab said it had signed a deal with L2 Aerospace, a company focused on developing innovative flight systems, technologies and solutions for the commercial, civilian and military markets.

The deal comes a year on from the company's launch of a rocket toward space from Great Mercury Island, off the Coromandel Peninsula.

Rocket Lab chief executive Peter Beck said it was an exciting time for the company.

"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," he said.

"However, our way of solving the problems are unburdened 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".

L2's chief executive, retired US Air Force general Lance Lord, said his company was thrilled at the new business venture.

"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 programmes by leveraging the combined expertise of two pioneering aerospace companies."

Rocket Lab said it had also been awarded a US government grant to study new rocket fuels and forms of rocket propulsion.

In addition, it supplied some of its thermal ablative projects to Lockheed Martin, Andrews Space and the Australian Defence Force.

It has also been supported by central government and government agencies such as the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.

"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," Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp said.

- NZPA

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