Tensions are rising between the growing small-satellite sector in the U.S. and prospective U.S.-based smallsat launch-service providers, with the latter fearing they could be undercut by competition from low-cost rockets abroad and by the sale of repurposed ICBM motors at home. At issue is how best to sustain the number of companies developing dedicated smallsat launch vehicles in the U.S., even as smallsat manufacturers and fleet operators look elsewhere for rides to space. Given a dearth ...

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