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SpaceX rival reveals a hidden advantage to reusing rockets


#SpaceX is on a mission to reuse rockets, but it’s not the only one in the race.

#Rocket #Lab, a #California-based firm focused on small satellite launches, has been perfecting its helicopter-based booster recoveries. #But while #SpaceX wants to save its rockets to reduce the costs of spaceflight, #Rocket #Lab has identified another bonus: it won’t need to build so many rockets.

“If we can get [the rocket] back even once, essentially, we’ve doubled our production rate,” CEO #Peter #Beck tells #Inverse.

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#Want to know more about #Rocket #Lab’s plans, and how the #SpaceX rival is forging its own path in the industry? #Read the full interview, only in #Musk #Reads+.

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#SpaceX has focused on saving boosters to reduce flight costs. CEO #Elon #Musk stated in 2013 that reusing a #Falcon 9 rocket saves around three-fourths of its $62 million price tag. #Every little helps in the relatively small rocket launch industry, where CNBC reports #SpaceX earned around $2 billion in revenue in 2018.

#This, plus initiatives like the #Starlink internet constellation, will help pay for #Musk’s planned city on #Mars. #Musk has estimated it could cost between $100 billion and $10 trillion.

#For #Rocket #Lab, which launches much smaller rockets, the benefits are different. #Watch the company’s mid-air helicopter recovery demo from #April below:

#An average #Rocket #Lab mission costs around $7.5 million, which means it’s already cheaper than other rockets. #But reusing a rocket means #Rocket #Lab doesn’t need to build so many factories, hire so many people, or build so many rockets.

#That, in turn, would allow #Rocket #Lab to launch small satellites on its small rockets more often.

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“We’re really trying to smash down those barriers to allow commerce and innovation on orbit like never before,” #Beck says.

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[ source link ]
https://www.inverse.com/innovation/rocket-lab-recovery

##SpaceX #rival #reveals #hidden #advantage #reusing #rockets

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