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VECTOR MAKES RAPID PROGRESS, SETTING STAGE FOR PRODUCTION INCREASES THROUGH MID-2020S
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Click image for a larger picture

A Vector Space Systems Test launch vehicle

Source: Twitter/Vector Space Systems


A Vector Space Systems Test launch vehicle

Source: Twitter/Vector Space Systems


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NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Vector Space Systems is a newcomer to the launch market. Even other startups, like Rocket Lab and LauncherOne, predate Vector in their entry to the market. Vector has made up for its recent arrival in the market by moving extremely aggressively. Vector raised an initial round of capital from investors in April 2016. By the end of the year, the company had successfully acquired Garvey Spacecraft Corporation, and utilized that company's previous advances to conduct a flight test of a subscale prototype, and a ground test of one of its core stage rocket motors.

Vector continued its rapid development pace in 2017, conducting two suborbital flights and raising additional funds. In 2018, Vector continued ground testing its rocket motor and plans to conduct its first orbital launch.

This rapid pace of development has put Vector Space Systems in a strong position in the nascent lightweight launch vehicle market. Rocket Lab is the only Vector competitor that has conducted at least one test launch. LauncherOne has yet to conduct its first launch. Another competitor, Firefly, even declared bankruptcy before it was purchased by an investor and restarted operations. Because of this rapid timetable, Vector is in a good position to gain first mover advantage, acquiring operational knowledge and customers before its competitors even start vehicle launches. The company reports it has already signed contracts to launch over 400 payloads into orbit.

Production forecasts for Vector are speculative at this point. The company has indicated that it hopes to eventually reuse its rockets. However, it's not clear if this rocket reuse will begin immediately or after the company test launches expendable vehicles. The second path would be similar to the one taken by SpaceX, which only recently started reusing its rockets. Once rocket reuse does occur, it is unclear how many times each rocket will launch. Even if its rockets are reused, the stresses that space travel will place on them will force Vector to continue producing their replacements.

For that reason, Forecast International expects production to gradually increase between 2017 and the mid-2020s. After that point, production will level off through the early 2030s. Even though Vector hopes to conduct more than 100 launches per year, rockets will not be produced for each launch, since a single rocket will conduct multiple launches.

Source:  Forecast International
Associated URL: www.forecastinternational.com
Source Date: November 8, 2018
Author: B. Ostrove, Analyst 
Posted: 11/08/2018

 

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