Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck revealed the company plans to build a rocket and launch into space every week.

CEO Peter Beck told Newstalk ZB's Early Edition the company had six rockets in various stages of production in New Zealand and Los Angeles and the goal was to get production time down to a week.

"There's a large element of [automation]. We've embraced the latest technology in 3D printing and the latest in composite manufacturing."

Rocket Lab's goal was to launch a rocket to space every week, so the company would need to produce a rocket every week, Beck said.


Parliament passed the Outer Space and High-Altitude Activities Bill yesterday, which sets in place a legal framework for space industry in New Zealand.

Beck said the new law doesn't change anything for Rocket Lab.

"We operate amongst a lot of regulatory regimes in New Zealand and internationally. For us it's business as usual," Beck said.

Beck told the Herald Rocket Lab had constantly struggled to find enough highly skilled workers.

"I don't need a PhD in transonic aerodynamics. What I actually need is aircraft technicians and more composite builders - those trades and skills are very hard to come by."

The company is hiring former America's Cup boat builders for its advanced composites work.

Rocket Lab's 17m-tall Electron Rocket is made of carbon fibre similar to that used in Team New Zealand's boat.

The composites team at the Auckland-based rocket maker is led by Ben Malcolm who worked with Team New Zealand on its last boat for its campaign in San Francisco.


Including contractors and part-timers, there are about 25 in Rocket Lab's composites team, a third of whom had worked with Team NZ.

Beck said top boat builders could transfer their skills to the space industry.

"It's really about craftsmanship. The America's Cup is very high end and has beautiful craftsmanship [but] not all boat builders would assimilate perfectly into building into space components" he said.

"You've got to be at the top of your game to work in the America's Cup and at the top of your game to work at Rocket Lab."

There are 11 countries that have been to orbit.

- with Grant Bradley