About two weeks ago Rocket Lab, an NZ firm based in Auckland, announced a new satellite launching rocket.
The super-light weight design is comprised of advanced carbon fibre technology, combined with the efficiency of the patent pending Rutherford engines, (named after NZ born physicist Ernst Rutherford) the rocket will be able to deliver a 110kg (242 pounds) payload to a 500km (310 miles) orbit for an amazing $4.9 million!
This probably doesnt sound like much, but with todays electronics 110kg is enough for any satellite, and the amazing thing is - $4.9m is barely anything compared to the $56-$100 million of other launch systems. $4.9 million is approximately 1000 times cheaper than each of the apollo missions.
Not to mention the incredibly low amount of fuel use - less than it takes to fly a 737 from San Fran to LA!
The figures speak for themselves, and as such rocketlab have already booked over 37 launches, with the first scheduled for next year. The ultimate goal is to be launching 100 a year.
And on a personal note - as i actually live in Auckland - I am So excited to see this happen! 100 launches a year = 2 a week, from what will hopefully be a launchpad within driving distance of home!