Rocket Labs Raised $777 Million With SPAC

Rocket Labs made its debut on the Nasdaq exchange Aug. 25 after completing its SPAC merger with Vector Acquisition Corp. The stock, trading under the ticker symbol RKLB, is down to about $10.0 per share at the end of its second day of trading.

Rocket Labs raised $777 million which will be used to develop the Neutron medium lift rocket.

There are several planned Electron launches. There will be hree consecutive launches for geospatial intelligence company BlackSky starting late this month. Electron will launch NASA’s CAPSTONE lunar cubesat mission as soon as late October.

Later this year its next attempt to recover the first stage of the Electron as part of its effort to make the stage reusable. If that is successful, the company will attempt to catch the stage of a later launch in mid-air and then reuse that stage.

Rocket Labs has had several successful orbital launches and views SpaceX as their only competition.

SOURCES= Space News, Rocket Labs
Written by Brian Wang,

9 thoughts on “Rocket Labs Raised $777 Million With SPAC”

  1. The Saturn V first stage was steel. Maraging steel, IIRC, which can be a pain to work with, (Imagine an annealing oven the size of their high bay!) but arguably has better properties than 304L for the first stage. (Though not for the second stage, 304L is better for reentry.) But making them both of the same steel is a good idea, it doesn't require them to be good at two different alloys with greatly different working requirements.

    Switching to 304L, from the carbon-carbon composite, was certainly the right choice. But it wasn't a advance in technology, it was pulling out of a high tech dead end. An example of what I meant by disdain for sunk costs; A less well managed company would have looked at what they had spent so far on the composite, and been reluctant to give up on it.

    In fact, they originally switched to 301 stainless, which admittedly sounds good, but has a steep learning curve, and is subject to delayed stress cracking when exposed to chlorine at elevated temperatures. Welding near the ocean…

    No, these were not high tech choices, they were demonstrations of their willingness to bite the bullet and drop things that aren't working out.

    As for vertical landing, that's been feasible for decades, and has been previously displayed. Nobody was previously doing it because they weren't trying to reuse rockets.

  2. Use of steel was very cutting edge. If someone comes up with a fusion energy solution using sand and wood chips, I would be very impressed! SpaceX had made the biggest carbon fibre tool on Earth before 'upgrading' to steel.

    Neutron looks shiny and there is a reason why.

    Another extremely cutting edge spacex achievement is landing their rockets and reusing then. They are so good at it now, that you forgot to count it.

  3. perhaps.
    but that's what makes it so scary and sad.
    The kind of Engineer you are at age 24, 34, 44, 54, and 64 are vastly different, so that kind of high-testosterone/no-prisoners culture from the 70s and 80s ruins people.
    At one age you max at intensity, at one age you max at creativity, at one age you max at efficiency, at one age you get sick and tired of the ageism and realize that you are 50lbs overweight with a half-dozen significant health issues and the spouse/kids have ditched, and at one age you are no longer involved in the technical issues while ruminating about previous accomplishments. I could be wrong as I haven't read much on their Culture.
    But it is rare and notable that companies such as Microsoft in the 90s and Google in the 00s went on to introduce these bizarre cultural perks: private chefs and free acupunture on campus, forced holidays/ time-offs, etc., — all perceived as eccentric perks at the time, but the only things keeping their 80-hr/week staff from burning out catastrophically before deadlines when they otherwise couldn't take care of themselves until it was too late. If there is anything that elite-athletics' coaches know is that monitoring burn-out, optimizing recovery, and planning peaks and troughs in high-productivity individuals is crucial and a skill the workers cannot see within themselves. A Word to the wise, Elon, manage people, like you manage your deadlines, like you manage your goals, and greatness will smoothly continue.

  4. Really? I think the only thing he's doing that really qualifies as far up the tech curve is the raptor engine fed with supercooled propellant. The alloys in his turbopumps must be bleeding edge, that's for sure. The interior of those pumps, especially the oxidizer pump, would be considered a decent cutting torch. And nobody has supercooled propellants before to gain that extra bit of density, so far as I know, though doing it has been discussed before. People had discussed the merits of methalox engines, too, but Musk went ahead and did it.

    Use of welded stainless steel? That's not high tech. That was actually him stepping the technology down. I work with the same alloy every day. He's using his own car batteries and motors for actuators, but he'll sell you those.

    You know what he's really beating people with? Superior corporate culture. I'm not joking about that. A ruthless, "Does it work?" orientation, and a total disdain for sunk costs. A balls to the walls development schedule. He does development exactly like I play the game Mastermind: Screw getting it right the first time, make every move to learn as fast as possible.

    He's created the sort of company competent engineers desperately want to work for, and unimaginative drones run away from.

    The tech is a product of that. But it's the corporate culture that's really driving things.

  5. We all want to see SpaceX have actual real competition. I'd have to see more than just one NBF article to be convinced. I've seen more enthusiasm for Blue Origin, which is a dud.

    We may have to wait for Musk to get to the far end of the tech curve before people even know what they're competing against. Musk is operating 5-6 levels beyond what any of the competition can comprehend.

  6. I could see them dividing up the market, with Rocket Lab getting the smaller stuff, and SpaceX the huge stuff. And that would be enough business for them to grow and expand their capacity.

    Jimmy there is aiming for midway between the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9. Probably about the point SpaceX intended for their Falcon 5, before Nasa persuaded them to go directly to a heavier payload.

  7. I have nothing but respect for Peter Beck, he didn't have the money Elon started with but he has every bit as much drive and engineering chops.

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