Sir Peter Beck unplugged: “Transporter can do it for free for all we care”
Sir Peter Beck unplugged: “Transporter can do it for free for all we care”

Enlarge / Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck speaks during the opening of the new Rocket Lab factory on October 12, 2018, in Auckland, New Zealand. (credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images)

Peter Beck has been having a pretty great June. Earlier this month, he was made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. Then, Sir Peter Beck presided as Rocket Lab launched its 50th Electron rocket, becoming the fastest company to launch its 50th privately developed booster.

Finally, last week, Rocket Lab revealed that it had signed its largest launch contract ever: 10 flights for the Japanese Earth-observation company Synspective. Ars caught up with Beck while he was in Tokyo for the announcement. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation, which touches on a variety of launch-related issues.

Ars Technica: Hi Pete. We’ve talked about competition in small launch for years. But when I tally up the record of some of your US competitors—Firefly, Astra, Relativity Space, Virgin Orbit, and ABL—they’re 7-for-21 on launch attempts. And if you remove the now-retired rockets, it’s 1-for-6. Some of these competitors have, or did, exist for a decade. What does this say about the launch business?

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