Virgin Orbit Urges Governments to Avoid Creating Monopolies Within the Space Industry

20th Nov 2020
Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit

Governments tend to create stifling monopolies that end up killing private companies in the process. Dan Hart, CEO of Virgin Orbit, encouraged more governments to work with Virgin Orbit and small satellite companies instead. By doing so, they promote innovation in Smallsat launch services and in all areas of space technology. 

Hart made this statement on 10th November 2020 while attending the WSBWVEC (World Satellite Business Week Virtual Edition Conference) organized by Euroconsult. For the space technology industry to gain stability, governments must be at the forefront as critical customers for companies such as Virgin Orbit. 

World Governments are Main Customers for Smallsat Launcher Companies

During the conference, Hart continued to emphasise why governments are essential customers for smallsat launchers. They all require world governments to support innovation. 

Apart from innovation, governments can practice smart buying as well as seeking systems that meet their requirements satisfactorily. By doing so, they can steer clear of creating giant monopolies that make it impossible for private companies to remain innovative. 

Currently, the market is tough and Virgin Orbit is striving to get a portion of it as a go-to smallsat launcher company. The company has already bagged some lucrative US military contracts. Moreover, its presence is being felt around the world as it markets its services. 

Even as Virgin Orbit strives to get a footing in the industry, the market is currently experiencing a flood of launch companies. There’s a larger supply of smallsat launch services than there are customers. With such saturation, companies are finding it challenging to stay afloat. 

Apart from stiff competition, there’s the looming presence of companies with larger launcher vehicles that provide rideshare services. This means customers can share one launcher vehicle. 

Virgin Orbit’s main competitor at the moment is Rocket Lab, who has managed to corner the market on smallsat launcher services. LauncherOne from Virgin Orbit is yet to make a successful launch, and the company hopes to accomplish this by the end of 2020. It comes after one launch failed back in May

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