Rocket Lab takes off because it won contracts with NASA

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NASA has selected Rocket Lab USA to launch its Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, or ACS3. This is another big victory for the space startup.

Courtesy of Rocket Lab

Space launch commercial services company


Rocket Lab United States

won another impressive new business victory. Stocks soar on Wednesday afternoon.

Rocket Lab stock (ticker: RKLB) is up 10% on Wednesday after-hours at $ 15.39, after falling 4% during the regular session, which saw the


S&P 500

and


Dow Jones Industrial Average

increase of 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.

NASA is the reason for the bump. NASA selected Rocket Lab to launch its Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, or ACS3. This is another big victory for the space startup. The company revealed the news after the market closed on Wednesday.

The ACS3 uses composite materials that deploy from a small satellite to create a solar sail. “Just like a sailboat is propelled by the wind in a sail, solar sails use the pressure of sunlight for propulsion, thus eliminating the need for a conventional rocket thruster,” the press release explains. The launch is scheduled for mid-2022.

The commercial victory shows that Rocket Lab has the cost and the ability to compete with SpaceX and ULA, short for United Launch Alliance, the 50/50 joint venture between


Boeing

(BA) and


Lockheed Martin

(LMT).

“We are delighted to be NASA’s launch partner for this innovative mission,” CEO Peter Beck said in the company’s press release. “It seems appropriate to launch NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail system on Electron, the world’s first full-carbon composite orbital launcher. ”

Rocket Lab shares have been in tears of late, driven by new business. Shares have risen 28% in the past three months. During this period, Rocket Lab announced contracts with NASA and the US space force with companies focused on earth observation, internet connectivity, and space waste removal.

Rocket Lab’s stock is up about 38% year-to-date.

Barron recently wrote positively about Rocket Lab as a great way to play the new commercial space race. Sales are still low, but are poised to grow rapidly, thanks to lower costs making it easier to access space. Lower satellite costs, along with cheaper launches, make it easier for agencies to conduct more research.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]


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