Rocket Lab’s Electron miniature spacecraft ignites hope for new space business

A new era in the space business seems to kick off with the launch of countless tiny satellites from a small rocket called Electron by U.S.-New Zealand company Rocket Lab Sunday from the east coast of New Zealand.

Similar to the little-known Rocket Lab several other start-up companies are also getting prepared to transport constellations of telecommunications satellites to the space to provide ubiquitous internet access to the world.

Meanwhile, the payload of Electron was a small climate- and environment- monitoring satellite for GeoOptics, two ship-tracking satellites for Spire Global and a small probe built by high school students in California. It also carried a demonstration version of a drag sail to pull defunct satellites out of orbit.

With the advancement of technology and computer chips the size of satellites has shrunk along with the rockets carrying those. Once the satellites were the size of a car, but now the miniature versions are just as big as a microwave oven and both contained same kind of capabilities.

The Falcon Heavy spacecraft from the stable of SpaceX was manufactured at the cost of $90 million while the Electron had cost just $5 million.

Founder and CEO of Rocket Lab said, “It’s really a shift in the market.”

Paul Linus