5 SoCal Rocket Companies Reshaping Space Travel

Lawren Henderson
Staff Writer at Cluster

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Get to know these 5 rocket companies in Los Angeles and Southern California that are reshaping space travel by making it easier to blast people and objects into the solar system.

Additive Rocket Corporation

San Diego, CA

Founded 2015

Additive Rocket Corporation (ARC) is on a mission to democratize space through reliable and affordable propulsion solutions. How exactly? By using 3D printing technology to efficiently manufacture rockets. The company is also a leader in generative design, leveraging computer algorithms and AI to design rockets that are more superior to those imagined by the human mind. The startup was selected for Techstars’ first defense accelerator program and lists Ross Mason and Silicon Balls as investors.

Masten Space Systems

Mojave, CA

Founded 2004

Masten Space Systems (MSS) is a pioneer in the development of launch vehicles, reusable rocket vehicles, and vertical landing technology. Its Xombie lander set the record for most flights by a rocket powered airframe at 227. MSS scored a huge win when it was selected by NASA to deliver payloads to the lunar surface as a part of the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services program. The company is estimated to generate $5 million in annual revenue and has roughly 15 employees.

Relativity Space

Inglewood, CA

Founded 2015

Watch out, Relativity Space has activated the Stargate – not the ancient portal to other planets, but an autonomous 3D printer designed to print rockets from raw material in mere weeks. Stargate utilizes Relativity’s proprietary printheads, software, and metal-deposition process to 3D print rockets used in deploying and resupplying satellite constellations. The company is targeting 2020 for its first full-scale test flight and has future plans to 3D print an entire rocket on Mars. Relativity counts over 50 employees and has secured $45.7m in funding from investors including Y Combinator and Mark Cuban.

Rocket Lab

Huntington Beach, CA

Founded 2006

Rocket Lab is an orbital launch provider aiming to eliminate the commercial barriers to sending small satellites into Low Earth Orbit. So far, the company has launched 39 satellites and plans to send even more using its launch vehicle, Electron. Rocket Lab offers payload delivery as well as the ability for clients to book a rideshare and launch their payloads with others at commercially competitive prices. Stakeholders are pursuing reusability plans for Electron and are in the process of upgrading instrumentation for a non-propulsive re-entry. The company has raised $215 million in funding and counts over 250 employees.


Hawthorne, CA

Founded 2002

Elon Musk invested $100 million of his own money into his passion project SpaceX. Likely the most well-known civilian space travel company in the work, SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Its multitude of projects include the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy reusable rockets which regularly send satellites and cargo into orbit. SpaceX is also developing an astronaut-friendly version of its Dragon 2 capsule, engineering reusable launch systems named Starship and Super Heavy, and building a satellite constellation named Starlink. The company is estimated to have over 1000 employees, raised over $3.2 billion, and logged $2 billion in launch revenue last year.

Can’t get enough of the 5 SoCal series? Check out 5 SoCal Drone Companies Maturing UAV Technology.

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Published on
September 16, 2019