SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping : Planet Money We found a satellite. We tried to figure out what it would do. Now we need to choose our rocket.

SPACE 3: Rocket Shopping

Robert Smith/NPR
A rocket from Rocket Lab in New Zealand
Robert Smith/NPR

We've secured our satellite. And while that's pretty cool, we're not quite there yet. We need a rocket. That used to require a having a space agency, like NASA. We don't have a space agency at NPR. But luckily for us, space is a business now, with commercial operators vying for customers. And space companies are actually battling for our business. They want to be the company that takes us to the stars.

This week on the show, it's time for rocket shopping. We go from a startup in New Zealand, 3D-printing rocket engines, to one of the established players in the space business. And just like any big ticket purchase, we had some decisions to make. We could pick the Volvo of rockets: reliable, but not the most glamorous. Or we can take a risk with a fun, little sports car. We weigh the options, and prepare for liftoff.

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