C a s e S t u d y

Case Study



Media lift off for the latest space industry break

Porter Novelli was approached to help Aerospace company RocketLab announce its latest development in both New Zealand and the US: a world-first launch vehicle to deliver satellites into orbit cheaper and faster than ever before.

RocketLab, founded by Kiwi Peter Beck in 2007, is poised to revolutionise the space industry as we know it. 

Porter Novelli teams in both Auckland and San Fransico are working on ensuring key audiences are aware of RocketLab’s world-first carbon-composite launch vehicle, named Electron being developed in New Zealand. At a price of less than $5 million USD, the new rocket being developed here represents a drastic cost reduction compared to existing dedicated launch services. 

The lead-time for businesses to launch a satellite will also be reduced from years to weeks through vertical integration with Rocket Lab’s private launch facility. Rocket Lab has attracted strong commercial demand for its service with commitments for its first 30 launches. Electron is 18m in length, 1m diameter and will weigh more than 10 tonnes. This will be the first vehicle of its class capable of delivering payloads up to 100kg into low Earth orbits (LEO). 

New Zealander Peter Beck has a vision of eliminating the commercial barriers to space. 

Rocket Lab’s principal funder is Silicon Valley giant Khosla Ventures, a top-tier venture capital firm that supports companies with projected revenues in excess of US$1 billion. 

Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, says it is exciting to see to the technology and innovation coming out of Rocket Lab. 

“Opening up access to space will be one of the fundamental developments of our time.  We are very excited about our investment in Rocket Lab, which represents technology inventions to help emerge a whole new generation of commercial opportunities by having efficient and cost effective access to space,” says Khosla. 

“The company’s technical innovations will truly transform the space industry.”

Electron: Fast facts

  • Lift off mass: 10,500kg
  • Propellant mass: 9,200kg
  • Propellants: Liquid oxygen and kerosene
  • Length: 18m• Diameter: 1m
  • Top speed: 27,500kph
  • Maximum engine thrust : 146,000 N (14.8 tonnes)
  • Engine equivalent power: 530,000hp
  • Nominal orbit: 500km circular sun synchronous
  • Nominal payload: 110kg

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