Rocket Lab CEO: ‘a year and a half slog’ due to coronavirus

Many companies in the space industry have seen operations grind to a crawl in the past two months because of the coronavirus crisis, a problem compounded by frozen venture capital that used to be readily available.

Worse, Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told CNBC that this is only the “early days” of the crisis for an industry that saw a boom time over the past decade. While he remains hopeful that some creative and well-funded companies may continue pushing forward, Beck warned that this “is going to be a really challenging time.”

Read more at CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/03/rocket-lab-ceo-space-industry-in-coronavirus-slog.html

Statement on COVID-19

This is an extremely challenging time for startup companies as COVID-19 has forced many to halt operations or close down completely. It has taken a tremendous toll on the financial and investment markets which makes it nearly impossible for early-stage companies to raise funding at a critical time when they need it. We are not immune to these circumstances, but we have been proactive and are positioned to ride out the storm.

First, we have implemented work-at-home for everyone regardless of state or country. By a coincidence of timing, our work is currently focused on design, simulation and software, all of which can be effectively performed at home.

Second, our near-term hiring plan, implemented prior to the coronavirus crisis, targets early May for new hires to start. While this date will likely slip due to conditions, we have been able to grow our team over the past month. We believe that this will help set the stage for rapid growth once financial stresses begin to ease.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the personal toll that the pandemic is taking on people’s lives. Most of us know people who have fallen ill or even passed away. We fear for our own health as well as that of our friends and families. Many fear for the future as much as anything else. As they say, “this too shall pass”. Even so, there will be a long recovery ahead presenting its own challenges and for those who lose their lives, there is no positive outcome.

However, we will recover. We will persevere and welcome the day we will feel the satisfaction of moving ahead and building the future that we always have and continue to envision. That’s where my focus lies and the efforts of everyone at Phoenix Launch Systems. Even during this difficult time, we are moving forward and will continue to do so through and beyond this time of crisis.