$70 million funding sets Arizona space tech startup on IPO trajectory

Tucson-based Vector Space Systems Inc., a microsatellite launch company led by a founding member of Elon Musk‘s SpaceX, has raised $70 million in fresh capital.

The money, collected in a Series B round of funding, will be used to expand its sales and marketing teams, build a rocket manufacturing facility in Tucson and hire up to 140 more employees by 2020. Vector previously raised $21 million in June 2017.

Vector CEO and co-founder Jim Cantrell said the company is transitioning from a focus on research and development to flight operations and profitability. Vector is the developer of what it calls the world’s smallest satellite launcher rocket.