Rocket Lab started off 2018 with quite a bang, launching its partially 3D printed Electron rocket from its New Zealand launch site in January.It was the second launch of the rocket and the first successful orbital mission, and the company is now preparing to launch more rockets - two more this year and 16 more next year.Rocket lab opened its second rocket development and production facility in Oakland earlier this month.New Zealand, and this week the company announced the location of its second launch site, which will be in Wallops Island, Virginia. Rocket Lab hopes to have the site operational in about a year.
For the remainder of 2018, however, Rocket Lab is focusing on the next two rockets. Its first full commercial mission, dubbed It’s Business Time, is scheduled to launch in November, and in December a flight for NASA will take off carrying 10 CubeSats.
The Electron rocket has a payload of 150kg to 225kg, and is boostable to a 500km sun-synchronous orbit.Rocket lab faces intense competition from a host of other companies trying to save small payloads into outer space, but baker argues that the company's advantages are learned from it: things like regulation, production facilities, launchpad matters, if not more than the rocket itself.