“Humbled and honoured”: Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck becomes the Knight

5th Jun 2024
“Humbled and honoured”: Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck becomes the Knight

Peter Beck, the CEO and founder of Rocket Lab, was appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. The annual King’s Birthday Honours celebrate the exceptional contributions of New Zealanders to society. 

King’s Birthday Honours Peter Beck

Sir Peter Beck made a significant contribution to achieving sustainable goals in the space industry. For instance, in June last year, he was at Buckingham Palace and joined King Charles III in the launch of “Astra Carta”. It is a guideline for the global private sector to align its space-related activities with sustainable principles. Satellites launched by Rocket Lab are tracking methane emissions and preparing to clean the space from junk. 

Notably, the scientist’s primary focus is on educational and training programs, making an effort to help motivated people follow in his footsteps. There are scholarship programmes for university students. He emphasizes that one does not need to be a rocket scientist to get an internship at Rocket Lab. 

Peter Beck was honoured for his significant contributions to the aerospace industry, business, and education. According to his words: “I’m fortunate enough to spend my life doing things I care deeply about – using space to improve life on Earth”. The Rocket Lab founder and space enthusiast is trying to make the world a better place and inspiring people to follow his example – truly a modern Knight.

Peter Beck at Rocket Lab headquarters with the company’s Electron rockets
Peter Beck at Rocket Lab headquarters with the company’s Electron rockets. Credit: Spencer Lowell for Bloomberg Businessweek

Peter Beck’s And Rocket Lab

Starting as an apprentice at Fisher & Paykel company, Peter Beck became a prominent rocket scientist and founded Rocket Lab in 2006. His first serious rocket launch (Ātea-1) in 2009 was quite successful. Additionally, Rocket Lab became the first private company in the Southern Hemisphere to reach space. 

For now, Rocket Lab is the second-busiest private rocket launch organization on the planet and the only serious competitor to Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Its partially reusable orbital launcher Electron was part of numerous successful launches at Mahia (New Zealand) and Wallops Island in Virginia, United States. 

Rocket Lab closely cooperates with NASA. In 2025, it will design two spacecraft to orbit Mars. Also, Peter Beck intends to explore Venus, piercing its atmosphere the same year.

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