字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント For the last like 50 or 60 years, space has mostly been dominated by a handful of governments. It took government money to get a rocket up, to build a satellite. Around sort of 2008, the launch of this Falcon 1 rocket, made by SpaceX, that marked the first time we had billionaires who had some success in space. We have lift off. And now we're at this really interesting moment in time where I think pretty much inspired by this example, everybody decided they could do space as well and could take a crack at these things that people have been dreaming about for almost a century. We've gone from governments to billionaires to now all this private money, venture capitalists, just regular old millionaires flooding in to space and funding all kinds of projects. As space becomes more accessible to private enterprise, many companies are hoping to make it not just possible but affordable to put objects into orbit. Now, a rocket startup called Astra is on the verge of launching rockets at a fraction of the cost of its competitors, potentially opening up a new era in the technology and business of space. As I look 50 years into the future, I see a platform emerging in space and right above that thin blue line, I see competition, I see ecosystems that are global, I see standards emerging and I see a really exciting opportunity for a trillion plus dollar economy to form. My name's Chris Kemp, I'm the founder, chairman and CEO of Astra and we're in our rocket factory, located just across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco in Alameda, California. And I think that Astra is really offering a very unique service. No one can go anywhere on earth and put something anywhere in space in a few days with a few people. We started talking about basically the idea of building a rocket factory from the very beginning and this idea was based on the principle that if you make a lot of something, the cost comes down a lot so we're building Hondas not Ferraris. We don't use any of the exotic materials, carbon fiber composites, 3D printing, that a lot of other companies like to talk a lot about. They're actually very expensive and they're very hard to scale so we're building these rockets out of aluminum so we're bending, we're welding, we're fastening, we're stamping, we're machining aluminum but our thesis was that if you could build rockets like an aircraft or an automobile, we could really bring the economics in line with some of these larger rockets. Astra's entering into a crowded and well-funded space. SpaceX is the clear leader with its Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy and Falcon Super Heavy rockets. Another front runner is New Zealand based Rocket Lab with their Electron and Neutron rockets. Astra has announced two different models, one small, one big and says both will be much faster and cheaper to build than those of its competitors. For like 100 years, people in the United States, Germany, Russia have been trying to build one of these small liquid fueled rockets. The first private company to really pull it off was SpaceX in 2008. It took SpaceX seven years to go from nothing to getting this first rocket up. Astra's whole goal really was to try and shrink that time as much as possible and to develop and manufacture this type of rocket faster than any company in history. Over the next few years here at this facility, we'll be increasing the production rate of rockets from monthly this year to weekly in 2023 to bi-weekly in 2024 to a full daily production rate in 2025 and by launching a rocket a day, we'll be able to bring the price point down to about a half a million dollars and we'll be selling launches for a few million dollars that can deliver between three and 500 kilograms to low-earth orbit. Astra's ambition was born from the massive demand for getting small satellites into low earth orbit. Startups are lining up to hitch rides on bigger rockets, often waiting months or years for their turn. Well, about five years ago, one of my best friends started Planet, which was the pioneer in building small satellites and they were having some real trouble getting to space. After spending a few months, meeting a bunch of the other rocket companies, it was pretty clear that he needed to be able to get from anywhere on earth to anywhere in space on his schedule, not the schedule of some large satellite. If you're a small satellite company and you want to get on a SpaceX rocket, the going rate for a SpaceX launch is about $60 million and there's gonna be one or two very large satellites that are on that rocket and they're really the primary payload. All these startups want to be these, what they call secondary payloads. They're sort of attached around the big satellites and so you're paying almost to be like a second class citizen on this rocket. The large satellites, the people that are really paying for the bulk of the launch, they get deposited exactly in the orbit that they want. Then the secondary satellites get dropped off and usually they have to use really small thrusters on the satellites then to kind of push themselves into their desired orbit. There's not as many guarantees that you're going to end up in the right spot. Companies like Planet Labs are aiming to dispatch many tiny satellites all around the globe in what's called a constellation. The satellites can do various computational tasks using data from all over the earth and since they're tiny and sit in low earth orbit, they just burn up in the atmosphere after a while, rather than contributing to the growing problem of space debris. As more and more companies try to build systems like this, the need for easy access to space is becoming greater and greater. That's where Astra comes in. The idea with the small rockets is that you're getting your own ride to space. It's taking your satellite to exactly the orbit you want and even more than that, you're not having to wait months and months and months to find space on a launch. The whole idea here with something like Astra is you hop on a website, you book a rocket launch, you send them your satellite and hopefully in a couple of weeks, your satellite's up in orbit so we've never seen anything like this sort of access to space and the pace at which you could fly something into space In much the same way, Amazon has big warehouses and trucks that pull up. You wouldn't land an Airbus 380 on Market Street and deliver a package to me. A little sprinter van pulls up and someone walks up and delivers a package. Just look back at the last 10 years. We've seen almost 400 companies now formed, solving all sorts of really interesting problems, looking at the earth, looking at how crops are growing, looking at where we're fishing oceans, looking at how to prevent things like coral reefs being overheated in the oceans and understanding weather patterns. I can't imagine all the applications. While private space flight is becoming an increasingly crowded field. The success rate is still extremely low. More than 20 rocket startups have now failed and there are at least 80 others currently trying to get off the ground. Only two private companies, SpaceX and Rocket Lab, are flying regular missions to space and Astra could be on the verge of becoming the third. So Astra's been at it for about four or five years. They've done really well in many senses. They actually got to Alaska and did their first launch in about two years, which was a record. Rocket launch in Kodiak, Alaska, pretty cool. The downside of that launch was that the rocket blew up. Whoa. It took 'em about a couple more tries and then just at the end of last year, they had really what was, for all intents and purposes, a tremendous success, their rocket got like just to the edge of low earth orbit within really a few feet and so we know now that their rocket works. The company plans to launch another rocket later this year as they continue to inch towards making commercial flights. Eventually, they hope to launch a rocket every single day which could lead to an exponential increase in the number of satellites in orbit. I mean, we're at this super interesting time that I don't think most people are paying attention to, which is that at the start of this year, there are probably about 2200 satellites roughly orbiting the earth. If you look at the launch manifests of the various rocket and satellite companies, that number is supposed to go to about 50,000 to a 100,000 satellites in the next five to 10 years. This is the next great technology story, the next great computing infrastructure story is what's going to happen right above our heads and so the next few years are going to bring with them this unbelievable frenetic amount of activity, both from the rocket companies and the satellite companies, and really all the global powers kind of understanding the new rules of engagement that go in to this era when governments do not control this real estate that had been the most prized, expensive real estate there is. Now, just about anyone with a decent amount of money and a decent amount of brains can get to space and do something interesting there. Our customers will be able to go from a concept to a constellation to really helping improve life on earth in months instead of many years and that's really our purpose and I think over the next few years, you'll see us really make it easier to allow space to be a platform for entrepreneurs across the world.