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Rocket Lab USA Inc

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About RKLB

Rocket Lab USA, Inc., formerly Vector Acquisition Corp, is an aerospace company. It designs and manufactures small and medium-class rockets, satellite spacecraft components, satellites and other spacecraft to support the space economy. Its satellite and other spacecraft components include reaction wheels, star trackers, magnetic torque rods and batteries. It provides engine and avionics manufacturing, business and corporate development, sales and marketing, and corporate planning and financial management. It researches, designs, and fabricates rocket systems, incorporating propulsion, vehicle launch and electronic control systems. Its segments include Launch Services and Space Systems. Its Launch Services offers launch services to customer on a mission or ride share basis. The Space Systems consists of space engineering, program management, satellite components, spacecraft manufacturing and mission operations. It also offers space solar power products and aerospace structures.

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What is Rocket Lab USA and how does it earn money?

Up, up and away. Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has the goal of making access to space faster, easier and cheaper “for companies, scientists, researchers, governments, entrepreneurs, and students alike.”

More specifically, it's an end-to-end, smallsat launch service company founded in 2006 in New Zealand by engineer, CEO and CTO, Peter Beck. It's currently headquartered in Long Beach, California, with a wholly owned New Zealand subsidiary. 

Rocket Lab earns revenue primarily through the design, manufacture and sale of their reusable rockets, Electron and Neutron, and the satellite bus, Photon. Revenue also comes from providing rocket launch services from their two launch sites, spacecraft components and other spacecraft and on-orbit management solutions to the civil, commercial, academic and defense sectors.

So far, the company has deployed over 100 satellites to orbit on behalf of clients including NASA, United States Space Force, Canon, National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Black Sky Aerospace and many more. 

The applications of these launches have included:

  • Enabling national security operations 

  • Scientific research

  • Communications

  • Space debris mitigation

  • Earth observation

  • Climate monitoring

In June 2021, Rocket Lab was awarded a contract to design a twin spacecraft for NASA’s Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) mission.

Is Rocket Lab USA profitable?

No, Rocket Lab is not profitable at this time.

While the company’s revenue sat at US$62.2m at the end of FY2021, the company's operating losses totaled US$24.3m. Rocket Lab’s net income, after calculating expenses, sat at negative US$2.7m.

Did Rocket Lab USA merge with Vector Acquisition Corporation?

Yes, on 20 August 2021 they merged in order to take Rocket Lab public and “accelerate growth in the space systems market, fund the development of the new reusable, 8-ton payload class Neutron rocket, and support further organic and inorganic growth in the Space Systems ecosystem and potential future space applications initiatives to deliver data and services from space.”

Rocket Lab received US$777m from Vector’s trust account and private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing.

Should I invest in RKLB stock?

While Rocket Lab has yet to report earnings in the green, the company’s prospects are looking positive. To this date, Rocket Lab has successfully launched 21 out of 24 rockets and deployed 110 satellites. 

More recently, the company won a US$24m contract with the U.S. Space Force (September 2021), was selected as one of 12 launch providers for a NASA program with a total budget of US$300m (Jan 2022) and also won a US$143m contract to lead the design and manufacture of 17 spacecraft buses for satellite specialist Globalstar (24 Feb 2022).

However, it’s yet to be seen if Rocket Lab will become a major player in the aerospace and satellite launch service industry. Some of Rocket Lab’s biggest competitors include Firefly Aerospace, Millennium Space Systems, Virgin Orbit, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Who owns RKLB stock?

Rocket Lab’s two largest shareholders are venture capital firms Khosla Ventures (25.6%) and Deer Management Company (16.32%)

Peter Beck, the founder and CEO, holds 12.14% of all RKLB shares.

The Australian Government Future Fund is also a big believer in Rocket Lab, holding 9.43% of the business.

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