Innovation

5 of SpaceX's biggest competitors in space

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SpaceX is good at making news.

For good reason — the company is helping to lead the charge towards a private space industry.

Earlier this year, SpaceX launched two astronauts to the International Space Station — the first private company to accomplish such a feat.

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But SpaceX isn’t the only company on the private spaceflight scene, and it’s got competition from around the world.

Here are SpaceX’s 5 biggest competitors in rocket building and launching.

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Blue Origin: Although Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s rocket company has yet to launch anything (or anyone) into orbit yet, Blue Origin still has the money and clout behind it to be a SpaceX competitor.

Blue Origin’s own reusable rocket, New Glenn, is slated to launch in 2021.

Blue Origin

Blue origin was also selected with other SpaceX competitors Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grummond to begin to develop the human landing system for NASA’s Artemis mission to bring humans back to the Moon.

NASA

Rocket Lab: The New Zealand company has come on the scene as a competitor to SpaceX, building low-cost, reusable rockets for delivery of small satellites and cubesats into orbit.

Rocket Lab

They’ve successfully launched their Electron rocket 11 times.

Rocket Lab

Northrop Grumman: Northrop Grumman has a long history of partnering with NASA and the US military to support and launch spacecraft.

Northrop Grumman

The company is working on its own intermediate/heavy lift rocket, called OmegA, which is in the running for a huge Air Force contract along with Blue Origin, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance.

Northrop Grumman

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Boeing: Boeing has the history — it helped NASA build the International Space Station — and its track record means the company often vacuums up contracts from the US government.

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The company’s Starliner crew capsule rivals SpaceX’s Dragon, although Starliner’s crewless test flight went awry in December 2019, leading to a NASA safety investigation.

Boeing

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United Launch Alliance: SpaceX’s biggest competitor is ULA, a joint venture created by Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The company has achieved 135 launches on its Atlas and Delta rockets.

Their newest heavy-lift rocket, Vulcan, will rival SpaceX’s Starship in its reusability and will launch towards the Moon in early 2021 to deliver a new lunar lander.

ULA

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