It’s good that there is growing skepticism about Rocket Lab…
Rocket Lab’s meteoric rise in the global space industry hit turbulence recently with its first operational mission loss. Meanwhile, questions continue over its launch of US intelligence satellites from New Zealand soil.
Stuff reporter George Block sat down with co-founder and chief executive Peter Beck at the company’s Auckland factory. He also spoke to the company’s seed investor and former co-director Mark Rocket, who parted ways with the company in 2011 after it started taking defence contracts.
…the problem is that this debate isn’t going far enough because what the vast majority of New Zealander’s have no idea about is how Rocket Lab and the National Party have made us, for the first time in NZ’s history, a genuine military target.
Rocket Lab fires rockets into space for the secretive National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) this is their charming patch…
…nothing erodes faith in the check and balance of extreme power quite like a giant orange space octopus proclaiming that nothing is out of its reach. Unbeknownst to most NZers, Rocket Lab is a Military Industrial Complex franchise, not some plucky Number 8 Wire Dad Shed schlock that Rocket Lab like to project to the sleepy hobbits of Muddle Nu Zilind…
Rocket Lab’s link with the CIA’s venture capital firm was revealed in 2016 by US investigative journalism site The Intercept, but has not been reported by the New Zealand media.
Although it operates independently, In-Q-Tel invests on behalf of the CIA and the broader US intelligence community in companies whose products may have national security applications.
A document obtained by The Intercept shows that Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck spoke at a summit of In-Q-Tel portfolio companies in February 2016. Other speakers included then-FBI director James Comey. Beck earlier wrote about Rocket Lab for In-Q-Tel’s quarterly publication in 2015.
In contrast, Lockheed Martin’s investment in Rocket Lab is mentioned routinely in press coverage and was the subject of a jibe by departing Vector chairman Michael Stiassny to the Vector AGM last week.
However, the extent of Rocket Lab’s defence industry work has gone essentially unremarked. Details of this work had been removed from Rocket Lab’s website by the time the regulatory regime enabling the company’s activities in New Zealand came into law last year.
Put aside the zero public debate of whether or not we should get this close to the American Military Industrial Complex in the first place and note that no one ever explained to the NZ public how allowing Rocket Labs to launch US military satellites immediately upgrades NZ to being a legitimate military target!
Because of this, Chinese Subs and Russian Subs will legitimately sit off the East Coast of NZ targeting the launch site.
THIS is why we needed to buy 4 P-8s! Because America is able to launch military satellites from NZ, which makes us a target and we need to defend that target with sub hunting planes!
Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced the Government will buy four Boeing P-8A Poseidons to replace the defence force’s ageing fleet of P-3K Orions. The purchase has been a longtime coming.
The P-8s, known as submarine killers, mark a new era in defence procurement, with one expert calling this the most significant defence purchase in a generation.
…so under National, we signed up to a military space programme through our 5 Eyes network that has now made us a legitimate military target which we need to buy sub hunting planes and torpedoes for???
When will it be made clear to the rest of the electorate that we have done this and put everyones lives at risk by Rocket Lab making us a legitimate military target?
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