Launch company Rocket Lab announced on Monday that it will become publicly traded through a merger with Vector Acquisition Corporation.
The merger will value Rocket Lab at US$4.1 billion and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, upon which Vector will change its name to Rocket Lab USA and the combined company will trade under the Nasdaq ticker symbol RKLB.
The company has also revealed the launch of its advanced new medium-lift rocket, Neutron, tailored for mega-constellation deployment, interplanetary missions and human spaceflight. Neutron will be a fully reusable launch vehicle with an 8-ton payload lift capacity.
The new rocket will build on Rocket Lab’s experience developing the Electron launch vehicle, the second most frequently launched US rocket annually since 2019.
“Where Electron provides dedicated access to orbit for small satellites of up to 300 kg, Neutron will transform space access for satellite constellations and provide a dependable, high-flight-rate dedicated launch solution for larger commercial and government payloads,” the company said in a statement.
Neutron will be able to lift more than 90 per cent of all satellites forecast to launch through 2029 and introduce highly disruptive lower costs to the high-growth constellation market.
Proceeds from the merger with Vector are also expected to fund organic and inorganic growth in the space systems market and support expansion into space applications enabling Rocket Lab to deliver data and services from space.
Rocket Lab forecasts that it will generate more than $1 billion USD in revenue by 2026.