Rocket Lab employs vertical integration strategy to secure $515M government satellite deal

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The Space Development Agency is the mystery customer behind Rocket Lab’s up-to $515 million, 18-satellite order announced in late December, the two firms announced today. In a regulatory filing from December 21, Rocket Lab said it would “design, manufacture, deliver and operate 18 space vehicles” for an unnamed U.S. government customer. Under the contract, Rocket Lab will deliver and operate a prototype constellation in two orbital planes of nine satellites each. Rocket Lab will not be providing the communications payload, and company executives declined to name that provider during a press release Monday. “We welcome Rocket Lab as the newest member of Team SDA and our third performer on the T2TL- Beta program,” said Derek Tournear, SDA director.