Space pioneers wanted: Rocket Lab short of staff

Our space pioneers are short of staff across a range of trades and specialties as Auckland-based company Rocket Lab grapples with increased production targets.

Ben Malcolm, who leads the fabrication team, told TVNZ1's Seven Sharp today that he needs more than an extra one or two to help craft the carbon fibre and composite production. In fact, he’d take an extra 20 staff today.

Boat builder Samuel came on board at the beginning of this week.

“It’s mind-blowing, it’s crazy," he says. "I didn’t think this would be in my future. But the daunting side of it has washed away."

Demand comes as the company reaches a major milestone - the completion of its 100th Rutherford engine, named after renowned New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford.

Lachlan Matchett graduated from Canterbury University with a master's in electrical engineering and was snapped up at the age of 23 to spearhead the original design of the engines with their unique electric turbo pumps.

“The pumps spin at 40,000 RPM and they pump the liquid oxygen and kerosene in and it burns at three and half thousand degrees Celsius to create our thrust,” he says.

And that electric pumping is the point of difference, with 10 of the engines powering each rocket.

But not all the jobs are this technical. Rocket Labs also needs a catering assistant as well as a junior battery technician.

For the full story, watch the video above. 

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Our space pioneers are short of staff across a range of trades. Source: Seven Sharp