New Zealand's own Rocket Man, Rocket Lab boss Peter Beck has extended an invitation to Space X founder Elon Musk to visit New Zealand.
And Musk seems keen – Beck told reporters this afternoon that the billionaire was interested in visiting, as he "loves New Zealand".
Although Musk did not commit to an exact date, a visit to New Zealand would likely be welcomed by the Government given its increased interest in space-based programmes and initiatives.
• Rocket Lab to launch satellites for Astro Digital
• Space Minister Phil Twyford defends Rocket Lab's 'entertain the mega rich'
• Watch: Rocket Lab blasts off
• Rocket Lab gears for missions to lunar orbit by 2020
In fact, a newly released report revealed that New Zealand's space sector contributed $1.7 billion to the country's economy last year.
Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said the report shows there was "huge potential" for New Zealand's space sector to continue to expand.
He namechecked Rocket Lab as an innovative local company and added New Zealand is attracting other leading international space companies, such as Silicon Valley start-up LeoLabs.
Before the report, commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and written by Deloitte, was released little was known about how much New Zealand's space industry was worth.
Twyford said the $1.7 billion figure "far exceeded" anyone's expectation about how much the sector was worth.
The report also shows the sector is responsible for 12,000 jobs in New Zealand.
"New Zealand has a space economy that is really taking off," Twyford told reporters this morning.
"Ten years ago, very few people would have thought that was possible."
He said the fact New Zealand was now receiving so much international competition was a good gauge of how well the space sector is doing.
Beck said New Zealand was "incredibly well-positioned" to take a much larger sector of the space industry.
"We have really wonderful engineers, a really great supply chain and really innovative thinkers."
Beck told reporters he does have a bit of contact with Musk – enough to have invited him to come to New Zealand.
"I'm sure he will come down one day."
Beck said that Musk had said he was keen to come down as he "loves New Zealand".
Musk did not, however, provide a timeline for his visit.
"We all know each other, and respect each other's work," he said, when asked how well he knew the Space X founder.
"There have been two private companies in the history of this planet that have launched commercial spacecraft – Elon Musk with Space X and Rocket Lab."
New Zealand space sector by overall revenue:
• 14 per cent – Space Manufacturing
• 8.6 per cent – Space Operations
• 57.5 per cent – Space Applications
• 12.6 per cent – Ancillary Services
• 6.8 per cent – Research and Development
• 0.5 per cent – Government