Rocket Lab successfully completes third commercial launch in 2019


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Capitalism in space: Rocket Lab today successfully completed its third commercial launch in 2019, putting seven smallsats into orbit.

If you go to about 21 minutes into the video at the link you can watch the launch.

Rocket Lab is slowly shifting towards its goal of one launch per month leading to two launches per month by the end of the year. That this single somewhat tiny U.S. company (with many ties in New Zealand) now ties the nation of India, the world’s most populous democracy, and has more launches than well-established U.S. launch companies like ULA and Northrop Grumman speaks, volumes about the power of freedom and competition.

The leaders in the 2019 launch standings:

9 China
8 SpaceX
5 Russia
5 Europe (Arianespace)
3 India
3 Rocket Lab

The U.S. now leads China in the national rankings 14 to 9.

This will likely be the last launch in June. We are now at the year’s halfway point. The total number of launches in 2019 is 37, down from the 2018 count of 54. This suggests that the totals for entire year will also be less, but we shall see. As expected the drop is mostly due to fewer big satellite launches. However, if the smallsat launch companies begin to ramp up this year, as they have predicted, they could make up the difference.

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