MIDDLE RIVER, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a leading launch and space systems company, today announced the expansion of its space systems business with a dedicated production and development complex designed to deliver a comprehensive suite of advanced composite products for the space industry and to further vertically integrate supply for the Company’s internal needs across launch and space systems.
To support its growing composite product line, Rocket Lab is establishing a Space Structures Complex in Middle River, Maryland, which will support the development and manufacture of carbon composite spacecraft buses, structural panels and assemblies, satellite dispensers, aerostructures and heat shields, composite overwrap pressure vessels, solar panel substrates, launch vehicle structures and more. The site will also play a role in the development and long-term supply of carbon composite structures for Rocket Lab’s new medium lift launch vehicle, Neutron.
Rocket Lab’s Space Structures Complex will be established in the 113,000 square foot former Lockheed Martin Vertical Launch Building in Middle River, which has been home to aerospace manufacturing since 1929.
The new complex builds on Rocket Lab’s deep heritage in advanced composite manufacturing, including the development of Electron, the world’s first carbon composite orbital launch vehicle, as well as the Company’s spacecraft buses, including the Photon Lunar spacecraft that delivered the CAPSTONE satellite to the Moon’s orbit for NASA in 2022. Rocket Lab also currently manufactures and launches its in-house designed carbon composite Maxwell satellite dispensers, as well as advanced solar array substrates. Expanding on these products, Rocket Lab’s new composite offering spans design and engineering, tooling and molds, manufacturing, assembly and testing for space applications.
“Rocket Lab is a world leader in advanced composites through our launch and spacecraft programs, so this is a natural progression as we continue growing our space systems offering,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “We have the experienced team, manufacturing and test equipment, established supply chain, and heritage to deliver reliable composite products to the space industry at scale, and because we’re deeply vertically integrated, we can do it fast and at competitive prices. We’re incredibly excited to bring advanced Rocket Lab composite products to market for our customers. We’re grateful for the support from the State of Maryland, Baltimore County, Maryland Department of Commerce, Governor Wes Moore, Senator Cardin and Senator Van Hollen, Congressman Ruppersberger and others who have welcomed us to the state. We look forward to building a bright future in aerospace manufacturing together.”
“We are excited to support Rocket Lab in expanding Maryland’s efforts in the space industry,” said Governor of Maryland Wes Moore. “Renovating this significant Baltimore County site and creating dozens of new jobs will stimulate opportunity for the region, and we are certain that this new Rocket Lab location will become a prominent and successful facility in the state.”
“With new and emerging technologies, the Baltimore region has been nationally recognized as a leading tech hub. Rocket Lab’s Middle River facility will be a welcome part of that developing identity,” said Senator Ben Cardin. “This new facility will bring technological advancements and innovation that will propel us forward into the future of aerospace, allow Maryland to continue to stand out as a global competitor and stimulate economic growth throughout the state.”
“Our commitment to investing in and growing Maryland’s space industry has boosted our economy and propelled our nation forward. Rocket Lab’s establishment of a new assembly facility in Middle River will create good-paying jobs, contribute to the ongoing revitalization of manufacturing in Baltimore County, and further cement Maryland’s status as a leader in American and international space exploration,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen.
“Maryland is home to a unique and growing space industry that is helping the U.S. maintain its global competitiveness and national security and I am thrilled that Rocket Lab has chosen us to grow its business,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “This facility in Middle River is a historic site that has been home to aerospace manufacturing for decades and I am grateful that the tradition – and quality job creation – will carry on with Rocket Lab. I am hopeful this will generate a domino effect of innovation and economic development across the region.”
“We are fully committed to building a stronger economy, generating new jobs, and supporting our local workforce,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “Rocket Lab’s planned renovation to the former Lockheed Martin site in Middle River will honor our region’s history of engineering and innovation while ensuring that our partnership leads to more job opportunities for our residents and communities.”
To assist with project costs, in addition to significant support from Baltimore County, the Maryland Department of Commerce is providing a $1.56 million repayable loan through the Advantage Maryland program. Rocket Lab is also eligible for various other incentives and tax credits, including the Partnership for Workforce Quality program, the More Jobs for Marylanders program, and the state's Job Creation Tax Credit.
Rocket Lab currently undertakes composite work for launch vehicles and spacecraft across its facilities in Long Beach, California, Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as Auckland and Warkworth, New Zealand. Composite development and manufacturing will continue at these locations, while the establishment of the new production complex in Middle River, Maryland, enables Rocket Lab to expand operations in proximity to the Company’s growing assembly, integration and test complex in Virginia at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, home to production, integration, and launch facilities for the Electron and Neutron rockets. The new Space Structures Complex expands Rocket Lab’s existing footprint in Maryland, where the Company already operates a manufacturing facility for satellite separation systems and CubeSat dispensers in Silver Spring.
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+ 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, the Photon satellite platform 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 171 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 pad in Virginia. To learn more, visit www.rocketlabusa.com.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements contained in this press release other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding our launch and space systems operations, launch schedule and window, safe and repeatable access to space, Neutron development, operational expansion and business strategy are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “potential,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, though not all forward-looking statements use these words or expressions. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the factors, risks and uncertainties included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Relations section of our website at www.rocketlabusa.com, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change.