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Actually, it is rocket science

The Buzz

Sarah Thornton09 September 2020

Rocket Lab has announced applications are now open for its 2021 Rocket Lab Scholarship, an annual award covering up to $20,000 in tertiary fees for one student to pursue a degree or course in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). It’s the company’s way of supporting the next generation of science and engineering innovators.

The recipient will also be paired with a Rocket Lab mentor, giving them one-on-one experience with a space and engineering expert. And while the Scholarship is open to applicants from across the country, those who can demonstrate a “strong connection” to Mahia and the wider Wairoa district in Hawke’s Bay will be prioritised. Wairoa is where Rocket Lab’s New Zealand launch site, Launch Complex 1, is located.

The Scholarship comes hot on the heels of Rocket Lab’s recently announced new Aerospace apprenticeship programme in which technicians can achieve a trade qualification in Aeronautical Engineering for building Electron rockets and testing space hardware – a first in this country.

The apprenticeship is available to those in the aviation industry working towards an Aeronautical Engineering certificate, and to those looking to retrospectively cross-qualify their years of industry experience to the space sector, such as former Defence Force or commercial aircraft technicians. If demand is high, Rocket Lab will look to expand the Aerospace apprenticeship by opening it up to high school leavers by 2021.

“As we weather the impacts of Covid-19 to continue launching missions, further development of our satellite division, and work on our upcoming mission to the Moon for NASA next year, it’s important to us at Rocket Lab that we play a part in developing careers and fostering talent that supports New Zealand’s growing space economy,” says Rocket Lab director of production Jamie France.

The Rocket Lab Scholarship applications close on Friday 16 October. An application form can be found here.

About Electron

Designed and manufactured entirely in-house by Rocket Lab, Electron is an orbital-class launch vehicle designed specifically for small satellites of up to 225 kg. Every aspect of Electron has been designed for rapid production to support the ultimate goal of weekly launches to space: its carbon-composite structure can be fully machined by Rocket Lab’s custom-designed rocket-building robot in just 12 hours, its Rutherford engines are 3D printed in 24 hours, and a full Electron launch vehicle is rolled off the factory floor once every 20 days. Electron remains the only privately developed launch vehicle dedicated to small satellites in operation worldwide.

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Sarah Thornton09 September 2020

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