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SpaceX founders want to put tiny satellites in orbit

While SpaceX's own rockets get bigger, two of the company's founders are betting big on smaller launches.

Two SpaceX alums, John Garvey and Jim Cantrell, have founded a new startup called Vector Space Systems that aims to put micro satellites into orbit.

It would be a dramatic shakeup of the current launch model, where getting a satellite into orbit requires piggybacking on existing launches. These rideshare payloads often need to wait years for a launch and must pick from a very limited choice of destinations.

Popular Science points to these tiny satellites, ranging from about 5 kg to 50 kg (about 10 pounds to 110 pounds), comprising about 75 percent of all satellite launches within the next five years.

In a press release, Cantrell said he wants to "bring the reality of space to a much larger pool of entrepreneurs." The startup is aiming to launch its first rocket in 2018.