Rocket Lab, a company primarily known for its launch capabilities, has expanded its business to include designing, manufacturing, and selling satellite components and spacecraft. In 2022, its space systems business brought in over 70% of the company’s revenue, totaling $150.3 million compared to $60.7 million from launches. The company’s products include star trackers, reaction wheels, solar power systems, and separation systems, among others. The revenue of the space systems business grew by 239% year-over-year.
To meet the growing demand, Rocket Lab announced last year that it was building new manufacturing capabilities for reaction wheels. The company has now secured a deal with an unnamed mega constellation customer to provide thousands of reaction wheels per year. The deal is worth “thousands” of reaction wheels per year, according to CFO Adam Spice, who added that the company has built a dedicated high-volume production facility in New Zealand to meet the demand.
Rocket Lab has not disclosed the identity of the customer due to commercial sensitivity, but possible candidates include Amazon’s Project Kuiper and OneWeb’s growing network. The base price of Rocket Lab’s 12Nms reaction wheel is listed at $100,000, but the actual price per unit is often discounted for contracts of this size. This deal is a significant win for Rocket Lab’s revenues and could be a source for the doubling of the company’s backlog last year, from $241 million at the end of 2021 to $503 million.