The deal will see Rocket Lab launch four dedicated Electron missions for satellite and Earth imaging company Capella Space, in addition to a standalone mission scheduled for launch this month
February 28, 2023 04:28 PM Eastern Standard Time
LONG BEACH, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO–Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced it has secured a multi-launch deal for a rapid succession of four Electron missions for Capella Space, an American space tech company and the world’s leading provider of commercial Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery.
Scheduled for launch beginning in the second half of 2023, each Electron mission will deploy a single SAR Earth-imaging Acadia satellite, a new generation satellite designed, manufactured, and operated by Capella Space, to low Earth orbit. These missions, scheduled to launch in quick succession, will follow an existing launch on the Rocket Lab manifest for Capella Space, the “Stronger Together” mission which is scheduled to lift off from Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia in March 2023. Capella Space is a returning customer to Electron, with Rocket Lab having launched a dedicated mission for the SAR company in August 2020.
The multi-rocket launch commitment demonstrates Rocket Lab’s proven ability to deliver streamlined access to space and allows Capella to meet growing customer demand for Capella SAR technology that can gather images 24/7 and through clouds or darkness.
Rocket Lab CEO and founder, Peter Beck, says: “We delivered mission success for Capella in our first mission for them in 2020 and now we’re thrilled they’ve entrusted us with a further five missions to help expand their growing SAR constellation. We’re proud to provide the team at Capella with a reliable ride to space, combined with the flexibility of two launch sites in different hemispheres to enable flexibility and responsiveness.”
Capella Space CEO and founder, Payam Banazadeh, says: “We are experiencing increased market demand for our highest-quality SAR data, and this announcement underscores Capella’s strong commitment to our global customers across the defence and intelligence and commercial markets. We are excited for the multiple launches with Rocket Lab, including the introduction of our new generation Acadia satellite technology, to further enhance our market-leading capabilities of high-frequency, best quality SAR imagery with the fastest order-to-delivery speeds of any commercial SAR provider.”
The four newly-signed missions are planned to lift-off from Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand – however, Rocket Lab has provided Capella Space with the flexibility to move any of the missions to Rocket Lab Launch Complex 2 in Wallops, Virginia if required as the mission campaigns progress in order to meet optimum customer and mission requirements. By operating three orbital launch pads across two continents, Rocket Lab’s responsive and flexible launch solution enables assured access to orbit for Capella Space to quickly and reliably increase their constellation’s capacity and orbital diversity to meet growing demands for its SAR imagery and analysis.
In addition to providing the launch service, each Capella Space mission will feature separation systems produced by Rocket Lab in line with the Company’s vertical integration strategy.
Capella Space joins a growing list of commercial constellation operators who have entrusted Rocket Lab to deploy their spacecraft to precise orbits on dependable schedules including: BlackSky Global, Hawkeye 360, Synspective, Kineis, Planet, Spire, Fleet Space and more. Kineis is scheduled to begin late 2023.
+ 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 and the Photon satellite platform and is developing the Neutron 13-ton payload class launch vehicle. 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 155 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 Photon spacecraft platform has 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 site in Virginia, USA. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.
+ About CAPELLA SPACE
Capella Space is an American space tech company with data and satellite solutions for government and commercial use. A pioneer in the Earth observation industry, Capella is the first U.S. company with a constellation of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites, delivering the best quality, highest resolution SAR imagery commercially available. Capella provides easy access to frequent and timely information affecting dozens of industries worldwide, including defense and intelligence, supply chain, insurance, maritime and others. Its market-leading SAR satellites are matched with unparalleled data infrastructure to quickly deliver reliable global insights that sharpen our understanding of the changing world – improving decisions about commerce, conservation, and security on Earth. Headquartered in San Francisco, California with additional locations in Denver, Colorado and Washington, D.C., Capella’s satellites are operated, designed, and manufactured in the USA. Learn more at www.capellaspace.com.
+ FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release may contain certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are based on Rocket Lab’s current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (many of which are beyond Rocket Lab’s control), or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many factors could cause actual future events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, including risks related to the global COVID-19 pandemic; risks related to government restrictions and lock-downs in New Zealand and other countries in which we operate that could delay or suspend our operations; delays and disruptions in expansion efforts; our dependence on a limited number of customers; the harsh and unpredictable environment of space in which our products operate which could adversely affect our launch vehicle and spacecraft; increased congestion from the proliferation of low Earth orbit constellations which could materially increase the risk of potential collision with space debris or another spacecraft and limit or impair our launch flexibility and/or access to our own orbital slots; increased competition in our industry due in part to rapid technological development and decreasing costs; technological change in our industry which we may not be able to keep up with or which may render our services uncompetitive; average selling price trends; failure of our launch vehicles, spacecraft and components to operate as intended either due to our error in design in production or through no fault of our own; launch schedule disruptions; supply chain disruptions, product delays or failures; design and engineering flaws; launch failures; natural disasters and epidemics or pandemics; changes in governmental regulations including with respect to trade and export restrictions, or in the status of our regulatory approvals or applications; or other events that force us to cancel or reschedule launches, including customer contractual rescheduling and termination rights; risks that acquisitions may not be completed on the anticipated time frame or at all or do not achieve the anticipated benefits and results; and the other risks detailed from time to time in Rocket Lab’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in Rocket Lab’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, which was filed with the SEC on February 28, 2023, and elsewhere (including that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic may also exacerbate the risks discussed therein). There can be no assurance that the future developments affecting Rocket Lab will be those that we have anticipated. Except as required by law, Rocket Lab is not undertaking any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
+ Rocket Lab Media Contact
+ Capella Space Media Contact