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Rocket engine test a success for Tucson company

Posted at 7:52 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 22:54:39-04
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A new Tucson company is aiming high, building rockets and building jobs.
Vector Space Systems is building rockets in Tucson and is on its way to hiring between 200 and 400 hundred people to build them.
Vector's business is small to medium sized rockets to fly the new generation of satellites that are small, cheap, but still very capable. 
Vector CEO Jim Cantrell says a lot of companies launching small satellites don't want the cost or complication of sharing space on a large rocket.
“Which means they have to live with somebody else's requirements, live with somebody else's schedules and all the particulars.  So it's just a far more efficient way to go, sort of the equivalent of you going to visit your sister in Chicago and you can either take a Greyhound bus or you can take your own car."
Vector doesn't plan to launch rockets in Tucson but it decided Tucson's mix of skilled workforce, political support and land made our area a great place to build rockets.
District 2 County Supervisor Ramon Valadez says Pima County's been working to attract tech companies like Vector because sophisticated companies make the economy stronger for everyone.
"For the average Tucsonan it means, you know what, our kids are going to be able to stay here.  Your grandkids are going to be able to stay here and they're going to be able to have good jobs and be able to support their family."
And county leaders see those as down to Earth reasons to attract companies that fly into space.