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Rocket Lab Organization and Product Analysis

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Published: Wed, 13 Sep 2017

The organization and its products (goods and services)

Rocket Lab is aiming a market for high frequency and low cost launches in which they target to deliver small satellites into orbit. With this goal in mind, it is necessary for them to develop a launch vehicle that is low-cost and effective. One of the most promising invention of Rocket Lab was the Electron rocket which represents a world leading approach to the challenge of affordable launch opportunities for businesses.

  • The Electron

Electron is a 16m long rocket vehicle which has a lift-off mass of 10.5 tonnes. (Rocket Lab USA, 2016) It delivers payloads of 150kg to a 500km sun-synchronous orbit, and cost less than US$5 million per launch. (Wikipedia, 2017) Electron is also built using carbon composite materials to keep it durable and lightweight at the same time. This Electron is designed to minimise the total time it takes to launch a satellite into orbit from years to a few weeks.

  • The Rutherford Engine

The Electron launch vehicle is run by Rocket Lab’s flagship engine known as Rutherford engine. This turbo-pumped LOX/RP-1 engine adopts a completely new electrical propulsion cycle, by victimisation electrical motors to drive its turbo pumps, and it’s the primary oxygen/hydrocarbon engine to use 3D printing for all primary parts. (Rocket research lab USA, 2016)

  • Guidance and navigation

Deploying a payload to orbit needs precise steering and management of the launch vehicle from depart till payload separation. Currently, Rocket research lab is developing as advanced steering algorithms to realize precise orbit insertion with reconfiguration between mission. This guidance and navigation system is said to be the first to be developed in the last two decades.

 Market opportunity analysis (upstream or down) and choice of host country

India is a developing country and they need the latest technology to compete with the rest of the world. Establishing a space exploration joint venture or subsidiary will be beneficial for both Rocket Lab and India, as this will open new opportunities such as low-cost launches and increased revenue. Space technology in India is getting more powerful every day because of its highly-skilled scientists and experts. This would be advantageous for Rocket Lab since they would be able to avail the services of these highly-skilled workers at a fraction of a price compared to those from developed countries. India, on the other hand, would be able to boost their revenue because of the possibility of wider international market coverage and increased job opportunities.

Indian market is very powerful in terms of fast growing economy and technology which makes it a profitable location for Rocket Lab’s expansion. It is also a vast country with a population of 1.252 billion and with the emergence of its young population, it is more likely that their interest lies in the field of science and technology. With the right mindset and training, Rocket Lab would be able to provide them practical knowledge on how the satellite works and how they are made, which could open their chances to work in the field of commercial aerospace launch services.

Rocket Lab’s expansion in India will requires ample funds which can be tricky, but not impossible. With their current company valued at US$1 Billion, potential investors wouldn’t think twice in financing Rocket Lab knowing that their proposed projects are likely to succeed. Partnering with India’s established rocket research labs such ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) and Bangalore and Space Applications Centre (SAC), it would probably much easier for Rocket Lab to established a lab of their own in India’s soil. It would benefit both parties wherein they can share and join forces in improving their research and development.

Overall, we can say that to start Rocket Lab expansion in India will be a great opportunity not financially but also for the growth and development of aerospace technology. It will also provide job opportunities for the unemployed skilled students who are already knowledgeable in the field of science. Rocket Lab would also help in providing new technologies to a developing county who will put it in good use.

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