How to Build a Better Rocket Company

SpaceX’s success is founded on good engineering and well-executed operations leveraging current technologies. It is also a private company, so it does not have to defend its quarterly and annual results to Wall Street. This permits the organization to concentrate on long-term objectives. To compete with New Space businesses like SpaceX and VG, a startup must have a long-term vision supported by a realistic plan for recruiting significant investors. A startup like this may set a goal to beat SpaceX to Mars and build the first settlement. Consider jumping ahead of the competition.

After years of domination by SpaceX and Rocket Lab, other private rocket firms are now entering the market. We spoke to three rocket builders at TC Sessions: Space 2021 this week who have either already launched, attained space, or are well on their way: Lauren Lyons of Firefly Aerospace, Benjamin Lyon of Astra, and Max Haot of Launcher.

How to Build a Better Rocket Company

One prevalent topic that immediately emerged during our conversation, “New Kids on the Launch Block,” was that vertical integration is a crucial driver of success in the rocket sector for bringing down costs, especially with lower capacity launch vehicles. Building a team that can execute with an emphasis on efficiency, iteration, and flexibility is just as vital, if not more so.

I believe that space technology is all about fast iterating, rather than focusing on a single product for seven to ten years and having that tailored application, since it requires you to know exactly what the future holds. Moreover, no one gets an iPhone and then declares it to be the finest thing in the world ten years later; you want the newest item. 

Similarly, when it comes to iterating and implementing space technology, both on launch and in orbit, you want to use an iterative strategy that really focused on consumers, rather than the old-school way of doing aerospace. That, I believe, is an important approach to consider the future.

Similarly, when we consider how we function within Astra, we consider how we might reduce it to essentially a robot, with robots executing the tasks obviously; there is a path, a map, to follow to get there. However, getting down to just a few people at mission control and on the ground where we launch has been something we have worked hard on, and we have recently made it to orbit. Therefore, I believe it a technique that is both effective and profitable.