17–19 September 2018
Hyatt Regency Orlando, Orlando, Florida

Small Launch Vehicles Market Spurs Advancements, Intense Competition


Moderator Warren Frick, program manager, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems; John Brunschwyler, program director, Innovation Systems, Flight Systems Group, Launch Vehicles Division, Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems; John Fuller, director, Advanced Concepts, Virgin Orbit; Leslie Kovacs, vice president of business development, Firefly Aerospace; Gregory Orndorff, director of government launch sales, Vector Launch Inc.; Bradley Schneider, executive vice president — USA, Rocket Lab

by Hannah Thoreson, AIAA social media content specialist

AIAA SPACE FORUM, Orlando, Fla., Sept. 19, 2018 —The small launch vehicles market has become more crowded and competitive as the technology has become more widespread, panelists said during the “Small Launch Vehicles” session.

“There’s more than 70 small launch vehicles in the works right now,” said Warren Frick, a program manager at Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems.

John Fuller, director of Advanced Concepts at Virgin Orbit, claimed there are more than 100 small launch vehicles under development.


Participants in the panel discussion "Small Launch Vehicles," Sept. 19 at the 2018 AIAA SPACE Forum in Orlando, Fla.

A result of these new technology developments has been that launch prices are dropping.

Greg Orndorff, director of government sales at Vector Launch Inc., said his company is able to launch for as little as $1.5 million using equipment that can be moved in the back of a pickup truck.

Watch the full video for more information.

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