TOKYO, 2024, June 18th – Synspective Inc., a provider of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellite data and analytics solutions, has signed its largest launch agreement to date. The ten-launch deal is with Rocket Lab, a global leader in launch services and space systems. Synspective founder and CEO Dr. Motoyuki Arai, Rocket Lab founder and CEO Sir Peter Beck, and New Zealand’s Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Christopher Luxon attended the announcement event at the Tokyo Imperial Hotel. Luxon is on his first visit to Japan as Prime Minister, leading a business delegation to meet investors and strengthen bilateral ties.

Rocket Lab has been the sole launch provider for Synspective’s StriX constellation, successfully deploying four StriX satellites across four dedicated Electron launches since 2020. In addition to the 10 new dedicated launches signed today, another two launches for Synspective have already been booked and are scheduled for launch this year from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand. The launches in the new deal will take place across 2025 and 2027.

By launching as the dedicated payload on Electron, Synspective controls the launch schedule and the precise deployment parameters for each satellite. This enables the company to build a satellite constellation on its terms and maximize coverage for its partners and customers.

Comments from Dr. Motoyuki Arai, Synspective founder and CEO: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Rocket Lab to launch 10 new satellites. This agreement gives us a solid foundation and confidence, as Rocket Lab is an innovative launch provider. We look to accelerate building our satellite constellation and expand our services in the future. We appreciate Rocket Lab’s significant role in moving our business forward. We will continue to build an analytics platform that enables visualization and analysis of global environmental and economic activities, starting with constructing a SAR satellite constellation. These efforts will help make human activities sustainable for our generation and address the challenges of a changing global environment and depleting resources.”

Comments from Rocket Lab founder and CEO Sir Peter Beck: “We are honored that the Synspective team has once again entrusted Rocket Lab with the deployment of their constellation and we’re proud to be their launch partner for another ten missions, our largest launch agreement to date. Japan’s space industry is one of the fastest growing globally and we’re excited to be enabling this growth through the unique collaboration of a U.S. rocket and a New Zealand launch site, delivering an unprecedented level of tailored access to orbit for Japanese small satellites.”

Comments from Prime Minister of New Zealand Rt Hon Christopher Luxon: “New Zealand innovation in space technology is rapidly putting our country on the map in this fast-growing industry. I am very pleased to witness the signing of this significant agreement during my first visit to Japan as Prime Minister – it is a clear demonstration of the many opportunities to grow trade and prosperity between our two nations. Collaboration with international partners is critical to enabling our space industry to maximise its potential on the global stage.”

About Synspective Inc.

Synspective, established in 2018, is an end-to-end SAR satellite data and solution provider with the mission to realize a learning world for people to expand their capabilities and make tangible progress with new data and technologies. With a SAR satellite constellation that enables high-frequency and high-resolution Earth observation, Synspective delivers satellite data and various solutions that combine SAR and IoT data with machine learning and data science techniques.

Source: Synspective Inc.

Albuquerque, New Mexico. June 11th, 2024 – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced the signing of a non-binding preliminary memorandum of terms (PMT) with the Department of Commerce that would see Rocket Lab receive up to $23.9M in direct funding under the CHIPS and Science Act. The proposed investment would enable Rocket Lab to increase its production of compound semiconductors for spacecraft and satellites, as part of an expansion and modernization of the Company’s facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This proposed CHIPS investment would create more than 100 direct manufacturing jobs.

Rocket Lab acquired SolAero Technologies Inc in 2022, making Rocket Lab one of only two companies domestically, and three companies outside of Russia and China, that specializes in the production of highly efficient and radiation resistant compound semiconductors called space-grade solar cells—devices used in space to convert light to electricity. The space-grade solar cells produced at Rocket Lab’s Albuquerque, New Mexico facility power critical space programs such as missile awareness systems and exploratory science missions including the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s Artemis lunar explorations, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, and the Mars Insight Lander. Rocket Lab's technology also serves a booming commercial satellite market, such as powering the OneWeb broadband internet satellite constellation.

This proposed CHIPS investment would help create a more robust and resilient supply of space-grade solar cells. The modernization and expansion project would also increase Rocket Lab’s compound semiconductor production by 50% within the next three years—helping to domestically meet the growing national security and consumer demand for these solar cells.

In addition to these proposed federal incentives, the State of New Mexico has also committed to providing financial assistance and incentives with a total value of $25.5 million to Rocket Lab in support of this effort.

"Semiconductors are central to modern life, to our economy, and to America's future. We are proud to be strengthening that future with the support of the CHIPS Office by expanding our production facilities to meet growing demand for the semiconductors that power the nation's most critical science, defense and commercial space missions," said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Sir Peter Beck. "For more than two decades the SolAero team, now part of Rocket Lab, has played a crucial role in the domestic production of semiconductors. This program is a continuation of our commitment to ensuring resilient U.S. supply chains and creating highly productive local jobs."

“Rocket Lab has called New Mexico home for 25 years, first as SolAero Technologies and now as a thriving modern company manufacturing space solar-cell technology,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “New Mexico’s space economy is growing every day, and Rocket Lab’s expansion will bring more than 100 new jobs to New Mexico. This is just the latest example of how the CHIPS and Science Act is fueling new technology and high-wage jobs.”

“This major investment from our CHIPS and Science Act will further solidify New Mexico’s role as a leader in advanced manufacturing and create more than an estimated 100 manufacturing jobs. It will also further cement our state as the best place in America to manufacture novel technologies with emerging space defense applications,” said Senator Heinrich, a member of the 2022 Chips and Science Act Conference Committee. “For years now, I’ve been proud to bolster New Mexico’s bases, defense research labs, and private industry partners so we can keep excelling in emerging defense fields. That includes supporting the growth of SolAero, now Rocket Lab—a homegrown New Mexico defense technology company that has become an industry leader in manufacturing solar cells for space-based defense systems and commercial satellites. This exciting investment is just the latest downpayment to maintain New Mexico’s longtime leadership in national security and innovation.”

“As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I was proud to help shape the CHIPS and Science Act to advance New Mexico’s role in the future of manufacturing. This funding will help solidify New Mexico as a hub for cutting-edge innovation,” said Senator Luján. “This investment by the Department of Commerce underscores our commitment to creating new jobs here at home. Investing in local companies like SolAero is crucial to drive innovation and continue New Mexico’s legacy of advanced manufacturing.”

“I am so excited that SolAero will get almost $24 million to expand and modernize their facilities right in the heart of New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District,” said Rep. Melanie Stansbury. “Thanks to the Biden Administration and the CHIPS and Science Act, more than 100 new manufacturing jobs will be created, and New Mexico will continue leading the way in technological manufacturing. The future is bright!”

“These 100-plus good-paying jobs will support hard-working New Mexicans, while strengthening our national security through domestic semiconductor manufacturing,” said Rep. Gabe Vasquez. “This funding for Rocket Lab will help ensure that vital semiconductors are made in America and solidify New Mexico's role as a leader in space technology. Recognizing New Mexico’s robust workforce and investment potential is crucial, and I will always work to bring good-paying jobs to our state.”

“Not only will this $23.9M investment help strengthen our national security and increase the amount of advanced semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, it will create more than 100 good paying jobs for New Mexicans,” said Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández. “With this funding, our satellites won’t be dependent on foreign sources for solar power, and instead use American-manufactured solar cells made from compound semiconductors. Manufacturing is growing in New Mexico and this is exactly the kind of growth we had in mind when we passed the CHIPS and Science Act.”

Rocket Lab has indicated that it plans to claim the Department of the Treasury’s Investment Tax Credit, which is expected to be up to 25% of qualified capital expenditures. As explained in its first Notice of Funding Opportunity, the Department may offer applicants a PMT on a non-binding basis after satisfactory completion of the merit review of a full application. The PMT outlines key terms for a potential CHIPS incentives award, including the amount and form of the award. The award amounts are subject to due diligence and negotiation of award documents and are conditional on the achievement of certain milestones. After the PMT is signed, the Department begins a comprehensive due diligence process on the proposed projects and continues negotiating or refining certain terms with the applicant. The terms contained in any final award documents may differ from the terms of the PMT being announced today.

About CHIPS for America

CHIPS for America is part of President Biden’s economic plan to invest in America, stimulate private sector investment, create good-paying jobs, make more in the United States, and revitalize communities left behind. CHIPS for America includes the CHIPS Program Office, responsible for manufacturing incentives, and the CHIPS Research and Development Office, responsible for R&D programs, that both sit within the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at the Department of Commerce. NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. NIST is uniquely positioned to successfully administer the CHIPS for America program because of the bureau’s strong relationships with U.S. industries, its deep understanding of the semiconductor ecosystem, and its reputation as fair and trusted.

Source: Rocket Lab

Long Beach, California. June 7th, 2024. – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced the launch window for the Company’s 50th Electron launch. The mission will deploy five Internet-of-Things (IoT) satellites for French company Kinéis.

The ‘No Time Toulouse’ mission is scheduled to launch from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand during a 14-day launch window that opens on June 19th, 2024, NZST.

The mission is the first of five dedicated Electron launches for Kinéis, a company backed by private and public investors including the French government’s space agency CNES (Centre National d'Études Spatiales) and CLS (Collecte Localisation Satellites) an international space-based solutions provider, to improve global IoT connectivity. Kinéis’ new constellation will connect any object anywhere in the world and guarantee the transmission of targeted and useful data to users, in near-real time, with low energy consumption with more powerful 30kg-class nanosats that integrate IoT technology. The constellation also includes a second mission: a ship-tracking Automatic Identification System (AIS). Once deployed, these technologies will allow Kinéis to expand across multiple industries and scale from 20,000 devices connected to millions.

“The launch industry is not an easy or forgiving one. Making it to your first launch is not a given, so reaching 50 Electron launches is an enormous achievement and a rare feat in the history of spaceflight,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Sir Peter Beck. “I’m immensely proud of the team for bringing an industry-defining rocket to market, making frequent and reliable dedicated small launch a reality for the first time. We’re excited to launch Kinéis on this historic mission and grateful for the continued support of all the customers who have flown on Electron since our very first mission in 2017. Thank you for helping us to make Electron one of the most frequently launched rockets of all time.”

Kinéis CEO Alexandre Tisserant said: "Kinéis is proud and confident to entrust the deployment of its constellation to Rocket Lab. The Electron launcher meets our technical requirements for the positioning of five nanosatellites for each dedicated launch. Our teams and those of Rocket Lab are well coordinated to ensure the satellite separation phase with the launcher. We are very honoured that this first launch for Kinéis coincides with Electron's 50th flight!”

The ‘No Time Toulouse’ launch has been tailored specifically to meet Kinéis’ mission requirements, giving them greater control over launch schedule, orbit, and deployment parameters than would be possible on a larger rideshare mission. Tailored mission parameters for this launch include:

  • Instantaneous launch window,
  • After the first Curie engine burn to circularize the Kick Stage’s orbit, Curie will ignite again for an eight second burn to set a specific argument of perigee, enabling Kinéis to deploy five satellites to a precise location for each one of the five launches,
  • All five satellites will be deployed in a precise sequence in singles and as pairs to build out the constellation exactly as Kinéis needs it,
  • Finally, Curie will conduct a perigee lowering burn to reduce the Kick Stage’s orbital lifetime to keep space sustainable.

Source: Rocket Lab

Mahia, New Zealand. 05 June, 2024– Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today successfully completed the second of two Electron launches for NASA’s PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) climate change-focused mission, completing a turnaround of two launches within eleven days.

‘PREFIRE and Ice’ lifted-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in Mahia, New Zealand at 3:15pm NZST on Wednesday June 5th, 2024, deploying the second of two satellites for the PREFIRE mission to a 525km orbit. The first mission, ‘Ready, Aim, PREFIRE’, was successfully launched days earlier on May 25th, 2024 from the same launch pad, demonstrating Rocket Lab’s ability to launch consistently and in quick succession to meet customer mission requirements.

With both satellites now in orbit, they will crisscross the Artic and Antarctic to study heat lost to space from the Earth’s polar regions. Heat loss measurements collected by the PREFIRE mission will help to improve climate and ice-loss models to better predict Earth’s ice, sea level, and weather changes. The mission is expected to operate for 10 months.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Sir Peter Beck, says: “I’m proud of the team for delivering back-to-back mission success for NASA on Electron once again. Quickly deploying both satellites to orbit within eleven days of each other demonstrates our team’s skill and experience, allowing NASA to maximize PREFIRE’s time in space collecting important climate change data. We’re a long-trusted launch partner for NASA’s biggest small satellite missions, and it’s a privilege to continue supporting innovative science missions like PREFIRE.”

Electron has now delivered 185 satellites to space across all its launches, with today’s mission being Rocket Lab’s 49th Electron launch overall and seventh mission of 2024. Electron remains the United States’ second-most frequently launched rocket annually and one of the most frequently launched rockets globally.

About Rocket Lab

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. We deliver reliable launch services, satellite manufacture, spacecraft components, and on-orbit management solutions that make it faster, easier, and more affordable to access space. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab designs and manufactures the Electron small orbital launch vehicle, a family of flight proven spacecraft, and the Company is developing the large Neutron launch vehicle for constellation deployment. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has become the second most frequently launched U.S. rocket annually and has delivered 180+ satellites to orbit for private and public sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring, and communications. Rocket Lab’s family of spacecraft have been selected to support NASA missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as the first private commercial mission to Venus. Rocket Lab has three launch pads at two launch sites, including two launch pads at a private orbital launch site located in New Zealand and a third launch pad in Virginia.

Source: Rocket Lab

Long Beach, California. May 06, 2024. – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today announced it has completed the first full assembly of its Archimedes engine, the new 3D printed, reusable, rocket engine for the Company’s Neutron medium lift launch vehicle. Rocket Lab has now begun an intensive test campaign that will feature a number of engine system activations leading up to a first Archimedes hot-fire.

The Archimedes test campaign will take place at Rocket Lab’s dedicated engine test stand at America’s largest rocket propulsion test site, NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. As an oxidizer rich staged combustion cycle powered by liquid oxygen and methane, Archimedes is a unique rocket engine of its thrust class, engine cycle, and propellant combination. The engine is designed for maximum reusability, with an operating point that allows the engine to operate at a lower stress levels comparative to other rocket engines on the market, and with a minimum reuse target of up to 20 launches per engine. At full power, each Archimedes engine is capable of producing 165,000 lbf (733 kilonewtons) for a combined total of 1,450,000 million lbf on Neutron’s first stage. Critical 3D printed parts to undergo testing include Archimedes’ turbo pump housings, pre-burner and main chamber components, valve housings, and engine structural components.

Many component, subsystem, and all-up system tests will be conducted throughout the test campaign. These tests will validate Archimedes’ transient start-up, steady-state, and shut down performance. The engine test and development campaign is a key driver of the schedule for Neutron’s first launch, which the Company today confirmed is now expected to take place no earlier than mid-2025.

“Having a completed Archimedes engine on the test stand is an inflection point in Neutron’s development program. Now we’ve entered the home stretch where we breathe fire and refine the engine in preparation for first flight,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “Often with engine development plans there can be a rush to get a minimum viable product to the stand, after which you have to spend years in redesign and iterative testing to get the performance you need, let alone being able to reproduce it reliably on a large production scale. What we’ve taken to the test stand is very close to a flight-like engine, and with all of our production infrastructure stood up alongside the engine’s development, we’re in a prime position to be able to make quick iterations to Archimedes for a rapid development and qualification campaign. We took the time to not only bring a mature design to the stand that has been thoroughly tested at component level, but to also stand up the experienced team, manufacturing line, and test facilities required to support long term production of Archimedes. This approach has ultimately pushed the first flight to mid-2025 at the earliest, but it’s an approach we believe will deliver the frequent flight rates the market needs quickly after flight one. Designing a brand-new rocket engine to meet the market demand for frequent and reliable launch is complex feat, but it’s something we’ve successfully done before, having launched more than 470 Rutherford engines to space. We look forward to repeating this success with Archimedes.”

Production of subsequent Archimedes engines is continuing in parallel with the ongoing test campaign, with long-lead 3D printed components already manufactured and undergoing checkouts and analysis ahead of integration and engine full assembly at Rocket Lab’s Engine Development Complex in Long Beach, California.

Additional recent milestones on the path to first Neutron launch include the completion of carbon composite flight structures for Neutron’s fairing panels, Stage 1 and Stage 2 tanks, and the reusable Stage 1 structure. Infrastructure development is also continuing at pace across Neutron’s dedicated launch site at Wallops Island, Virginia, with completed foundation concrete works for Neutron’s launch mount and propellant and gas storage facilities, and installation of the site’s 278 ft water tower.

About the Archimedes engine

Archimedes is the 3D printed, reusable rocket engine designed and manufactured by Rocket Lab to power the Company’s new Neutron rocket. Capable of lifting up to 13,000kg, Archimedes is an oxygen-rich staged combustion engine powered by liquid oxygen and methane that is designed for rapid reusability. Neutron will include nine Archimedes engines on its reusable first stage for a total combined thrust of 1,450,000 lbf. The single vacuum-optimized version of Archimedes on Neutron’s second stage shares all major components with the first stage engine and is capable of up to 202,300 lbf (900kN). Both versions of Archimedes are designed for multiple restarts, with the vacuum Archimedes designed to start up to six times while in space to perform complex orbital maneuevers for payload delivery in multiple orbits or more complex orbits.

Archimedes is intentionally designed to operate within medium-range capability, a choice that lowers thermal and operational strains across the engine to improve its life and reliability, and meet the rapid reusability requirements of Neutron. Full-rate production of the Archimedes engines will take place at Rocket Lab’s Engine Development Complex at its headquarters in Long Beach, California.

Source: Rocket Lab

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