Author Topic: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle  (Read 37373 times)

Offline John-H

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #140 on: 09/19/2021 12:29 am »
Being overvalued only affects share price and ability to borrow or raise more money by share sales. Doesn't affect their ability to make money by selling services and products.

The only worry if bubble bursts is some of their customers may fall by wayside. RL is in good financial shape to weather such a situation, may have to scale back lot of their expansion plans and hold onto cash they have till sales can cover operating costs.





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How much of the company valuation is actual investment rather than stock inflation?  How much of that $8 billion or $100 billion is actually available to build stuff? 

A large valuation does mean that the company can raise more investment, and at the present stage of development investment income far outstrips sales income. For the majority of high tech companies, sales income _never_ catches up.

John

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #141 on: 09/19/2021 05:38 am »
Being overvalued only affects share price and ability to borrow or raise more money by share sales. Doesn't affect their ability to make money by selling services and products.

The only worry if bubble bursts is some of their customers may fall by wayside. RL is in good financial shape to weather such a situation, may have to scale back lot of their expansion plans and hold onto cash they have till sales can cover operating costs.

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No thoughts on the impact on the hopeful, hapless investors who bought shares at the inflated price?

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #142 on: 09/19/2021 09:28 am »


Being overvalued only affects share price and ability to borrow or raise more money by share sales. Doesn't affect their ability to make money by selling services and products.

The only worry if bubble bursts is some of their customers may fall by wayside. RL is in good financial shape to weather such a situation, may have to scale back lot of their expansion plans and hold onto cash they have till sales can cover operating costs.

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No thoughts on the impact on the hopeful, hapless investors who bought shares at the inflated price?

Thats price they pay for not doing their homework before investing.



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Offline meekGee

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #143 on: 09/19/2021 12:29 pm »
reusable electron has been seen. At least their first iterations.

From M.E.T.'s perspective, if you're not currently building Starship you're going to go out of business. And not just "building a Starship competitor," if you don't have a factory in Boca Chica that is very specifically building the Starship/Super Heavy launch system, you're going to go out of business.
Fortunately there are plenty that believe they can survive and thrive as SpaceX competitors.

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I like to believe I have an opinion based on each company’s individual business case. And in this case I happen to disagree with the assumptions on which the (very high) valuation is based.
Right now SpaceX is singular among the launch companies.

Everyone in the industry, not just RL and posters in this forum, is putting on a brave face and ignoring the inevitable consequences of Starship.

But once "rapidly and fully reusable" technology is here (and deployed), it's going to dominate, and nobody has anything remotely similar in the pipeline.

I don't expect the other companies to quit in despair, but the brave face (and associated valuations) will only last for so long.

There's probably a couple of years till that point. In stock market terms, that's ten lifetimes...
« Last Edit: 09/19/2021 01:48 pm by meekGee »
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Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #144 on: 09/19/2021 01:57 pm »
Everyone in the industry, not just RL and posters in this forum, is putting on a brave face and ignoring the consequences of Starship.

But once "rapidly and fully reusable" technology is here (and deployed), it's going to dominate, and nobody has anything remotely similar in the pipeline.
I don't think this is correct.  Blue Origin sees the writing on the wall, and is building a re-usable first stage, and is devoting at least skunk-works development effort on a re-usable second stage.  That's an architecture that can compete with Starship.  If they can execute (and that's a big if) they'll only be few years behind, and with a potential sales advantage (a right-sized ship).

Similarly, I'm sure (without evidence) that RL is thinking about a either a re-usable or extremely low cost second stage for Neutron.  I don't believe they are simply ignoring Starship. And the first step (a re-usable first stage) is already being attempted.

The Chinese seem both forward-looking and fairly nimble.  If Starship works as planned, I suspect they can work out their own version fairly quickly.

The other classic expendable providers (Russia, Ariane, India, Japan) are at high risk of being left behind technically, but their strategy may be to ignore Starship and survive on National Security business.  I don't think this a good strategy, but it is at least a plan in the face of StarShip success.

Online rakaydos

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #145 on: 09/19/2021 03:59 pm »
reusable electron has been seen. At least their first iterations.

From M.E.T.'s perspective, if you're not currently building Starship you're going to go out of business. And not just "building a Starship competitor," if you don't have a factory in Boca Chica that is very specifically building the Starship/Super Heavy launch system, you're going to go out of business.
Fortunately there are plenty that believe they can survive and thrive as SpaceX competitors.

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I like to believe I have an opinion based on each company’s individual business case. And in this case I happen to disagree with the assumptions on which the (very high) valuation is based.
Right now SpaceX is singular among the launch companies.

Everyone in the industry, not just RL and posters in this forum, is putting on a brave face and ignoring the inevitable consequences of Starship.

But once "rapidly and fully reusable" technology is here (and deployed), it's going to dominate, and nobody has anything remotely similar in the pipeline.

I don't expect the other companies to quit in despair, but the brave face (and associated valuations) will only last for so long.

There's probably a couple of years till that point. In stock market terms, that's ten lifetimes...
The best hope at that point is to be able to point at a half-complete full reusability project and tell investors "yes, SpaceX has us trounced NOW, but give us a few more years, and we can compete on (individual metric)."

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #146 on: 09/19/2021 04:08 pm »
Right now SpaceX is singular among the launch companies.

Everyone in the industry, not just RL and posters in this forum, is putting on a brave face and ignoring the inevitable consequences of Starship.

But once "rapidly and fully reusable" technology is here (and deployed), it's going to dominate, and nobody has anything remotely similar in the pipeline.

I wonder if there is a bet going on that while Starship may become operational, that the launch and landing sites will be so constricted initially that there will still be customer opportunities for other companies?

For instance, polar flights for Starship don't seem likely to happen very soon with the launch facilities we know about. Not that there is a lot of business for that inclination, but maybe that is part of the thinking for SpaceX commercial competitors?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline meekGee

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #147 on: 09/19/2021 04:18 pm »
Everyone in the industry, not just RL and posters in this forum, is putting on a brave face and ignoring the consequences of Starship.

But once "rapidly and fully reusable" technology is here (and deployed), it's going to dominate, and nobody has anything remotely similar in the pipeline.
I don't think this is correct.  Blue Origin sees the writing on the wall, and is building a re-usable first stage, and is devoting at least skunk-works development effort on a re-usable second stage.  That's an architecture that can compete with Starship.  If they can execute (and that's a big if) they'll only be few years behind, and with a potential sales advantage (a right-sized ship).

Similarly, I'm sure (without evidence) that RL is thinking about a either a re-usable or extremely low cost second stage for Neutron.  I don't believe they are simply ignoring Starship. And the first step (a re-usable first stage) is already being attempted.

The Chinese seem both forward-looking and fairly nimble.  If Starship works as planned, I suspect they can work out their own version fairly quickly.

The other classic expendable providers (Russia, Ariane, India, Japan) are at high risk of being left behind technically, but their strategy may be to ignore Starship and survive on National Security business.  I don't think this a good strategy, but it is at least a plan in the face of StarShip success.
I think BO is by far the best positioned competitor, but that's an old story...

The rest?  I'm sure the chinese can copy the stainless structure, but the engine is not trivial, and the state owned efforts are not nimble.  Private efforts are so far ineffective.

Doesn't leave much.  I'm rooting for BO, but not too hopeful.
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Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #148 on: 09/19/2021 05:14 pm »
What has this to do with this threads subject.

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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #149 on: 05/16/2022 09:41 pm »
twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1526296241998647296

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Rocket Lab reports revenues of $40.7M for the first quarter of 2022, with a net loss of $26.7M.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1526307639319216135

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Interesting note from the earnings call for Rocket Lab, a company best known for its Electron rocket: launch accounted for just $6.6M of its first quarter revenue. Space systems accounted for $34.1M in revenue for the quarter.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #150 on: 08/11/2022 09:26 pm »
https://investors.rocketlabusa.com/news/news-details/2022/Rocket-Lab-Announces-Second-Quarter-2022-Financial-Results-and-Guidance-for-Third-Quarter-2022/default.aspx

Quote
Rocket Lab Announces Second Quarter 2022 Financial Results and Guidance for Third Quarter 2022

08/11/2022

Record revenue of $55.5 million, representing 36% sequential quarter-on-quarter growth and 392% Year-on-Year quarterly revenue growth
Third quarter revenue expected to range between $60 million and $63 million

LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Rocket Lab USA, Inc. (Nasdaq: RKLB) (“Rocket Lab” or “the Company”), a global leader in launch services and space systems, today shared the financial results for its fiscal second quarter of 2022, ended June 30, 2022.

“In the second quarter of 2022 our team upheld our track record of relentless execution, delivering three successful launches, more than any other small launch provider for the entire year so far. Electron retains its position as the industry’s reliable small launch vehicle, delivering satellites to orbit for a range commercial constellation operators and NASA in the second quarter, quickly followed by back-to-back national security launches for the National Reconnaissance Office after the second quarter end,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “We continue to push the boundaries with our launch and spacecraft technology, a strategy that also saw us successfully launch the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA. The highly complex two-phase mission encompassed a flawless launch on Electron and successful deployment to ballistic lunar transfer orbit by our in-house designed and built Lunar Photon spacecraft, paving the way for future deep space missions to Mars and Venus.”

“We are encouraged by broad-based momentum that continued across our space systems business which comprised 66% of our revenue in the second quarter. Space Systems continues to be a significant growth area, with construction of our satellite constellation production facility in Long Beach substantially complete. This production facility will support the manufacturing of contracted spacecraft builds in backlog for a range of customers including Varda Space Industries, Eta Space, the University of California, Berkeley and seventeen 500 kg spacecraft buses for Globalstar as part of a $143M subcontract awarded to Rocket Lab by MDA in the first quarter of this year.”

Second Quarter 2022 Business Highlights:

Launched three successful Electron missions in the second quarter, more than any other U.S. small launch provider for the entire year so far. The missions included the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA, as well missions that deployed satellites for four commercial constellation companies; BlackSky, Unseenlabs, E-Space, and Swarm, three of which are repeat Electron launch customers.

Successfully launched the CAPSTONE mission to the Moon for NASA - the first mission of NASA’s historic Artemis program to return humans to the Moon. This highly complex two-phase mission encompassed a flawless launch on Electron and successful deployment to ballistic lunar transfer orbit by Rocket Lab’s in-house designed and built Lunar Photon spacecraft. The mission was an impressive display of capability across launch and space systems, paving the way for future deep space missions to Mars and Venus.

Signed a multi-launch contract with HawkEye 360 to launch 15 satellites across three Electron missions between late 2022 and 2024. The first of the three missions is scheduled to be Rocket Lab’s inaugural mission from Launch Complex 2 in Virginia in December 2022.

Completed the first mid-air capture of an Electron booster with a helicopter, advancing the company’s rocket reusability program.

Selected to manufacture Solar Array Panel for NASA’s GLIDE spacecraft, the first mission dedicated to surveying changes in the exosphere, the outermost layer of Earth’s atmosphere.

Commenced construction on the Neutron launch vehicle production complex in Virginia.

Surpassed 50 missions with the company’s MAX Flight Software, a leading off-the-shelf software platform used by aerospace prime contractors, the U.S. Air Force, U.S. DOD organizations, NASA, and commercial spacecraft developers and operators.

Since June 30, 2022 Rocket Lab also:

Launched two successful back-to-back missions for the National Reconnaissance Office in just over three weeks, demonstrating responsive launch for the national security community.
Introduced the Company’s Responsive Space Program to enable rapid call-up launch and spacecraft capabilities.
Selected to supply solar power for the United States Space Force’s new missile warning satellites

Third Quarter 2022 Guidance

For the third quarter of 2022, Rocket Lab expects:

Revenue between $60 million and $63 million
Launch Services revenue of approximately $23 million
Space Systems revenue of between $37 million to $40 million
GAAP Gross Margins between 12% to 15%
Non-GAAP Gross Margins between 22% to 25%
GAAP Operating Expenses $41 million to $43 million
Non-GAAP Operating Expenses $27 million to $29 million
Expected Interest expenses (Income), net $2 million expense
Adjusted EBITDA loss of $8 million to $12 million
Basic Shares Outstanding 471 million

Conference Call Information

Rocket Lab will host a conference call for investors at 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET) today to discuss these business highlights and financial results for our second quarter, to provide our outlook for the third quarter ending September 30, 2022 and other updates. The live webcast and a replay of the webcast will be available on Rocket Lab’s Investor Relations website: https://investors.rocketlabusa.com/events-and-presentations/events

Offline trimeta

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #151 on: 08/11/2022 10:30 pm »
Note that Rocket Lab actually lost money on launches in Q2: according to their 10-Q filing, revenue was $19,109,000, while cost of revenue was $21,421,000. However, I've kind of been calling this exact outcome for months: I think CAPSTONE had atypically high cost of revenue, and importantly a lot of that was one-time costs associated with the development of Lunar Photon. So it's not really representative of a "typical" quarter with three launches, even a quarter with a Lunar Photon launch.

Q3 should turn a profit, however. It will also have three launches (the forecast confirms there's exactly one more launch planned this quarter), and projected revenues are exactly $23 million (that is, they already know exactly how much they'll be making), up from the aforementioned $19.1 million in Q2. That probably reflects a premium paid by the NRO for responsive launch. Conversely, I doubt that this will increase cost of revenues in the way that Lunar Photon did (in fact, they explicitly said that responsive launch doesn't substantially increase their costs). Thus, compared to Q2, Q3 should have higher revenues and lower cost of revenues.

Edit: There's a comment in the 10-Q saying "The increase in cost per launch in the three months ended June 30, 2022 was driven primarily by stock-based compensation charges," but I'm never entirely sure how to interpret statements like that. Does it boil down to "we had more employees to pay"? If someone's more familiar with finance, I'd be interested to hear their perspective.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2022 10:36 pm by trimeta »

Offline imprezive

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #152 on: 08/12/2022 12:42 am »
Note that Rocket Lab actually lost money on launches in Q2: according to their 10-Q filing, revenue was $19,109,000, while cost of revenue was $21,421,000. However, I've kind of been calling this exact outcome for months: I think CAPSTONE had atypically high cost of revenue, and importantly a lot of that was one-time costs associated with the development of Lunar Photon. So it's not really representative of a "typical" quarter with three launches, even a quarter with a Lunar Photon launch.

Q3 should turn a profit, however. It will also have three launches (the forecast confirms there's exactly one more launch planned this quarter), and projected revenues are exactly $23 million (that is, they already know exactly how much they'll be making), up from the aforementioned $19.1 million in Q2. That probably reflects a premium paid by the NRO for responsive launch. Conversely, I doubt that this will increase cost of revenues in the way that Lunar Photon did (in fact, they explicitly said that responsive launch doesn't substantially increase their costs). Thus, compared to Q2, Q3 should have higher revenues and lower cost of revenues.

Edit: There's a comment in the 10-Q saying "The increase in cost per launch in the three months ended June 30, 2022 was driven primarily by stock-based compensation charges," but I'm never entirely sure how to interpret statements like that. Does it boil down to "we had more employees to pay"? If someone's more familiar with finance, I'd be interested to hear their perspective.

The cost of developing the lunar photon is almost certainly in the R&D cost not in launch costs.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #153 on: 08/12/2022 07:42 am »
Don't expect a profit until 2024-25 especially as Neutron development and other expansions in space systems is using lot of their cash reserves but not enough to worry about.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2022 08:19 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline XRZ.YZ

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #154 on: 08/12/2022 04:40 pm »
$20M R&D a quarter doesn't seems they are developing a large launch vehicle. Especially considering RL has such a diverse business now.
Maybe it is more on design than build at this stage.

$540M cash on hand with ~$700M current asset.


RL report cash flow for 6 month. This is a little bit unusually.
Cash flow is $-64M for H1 2022.

But I would expect this to increase considerable after they begin building Wallops facility and rocket/engine building and testing.

So they probably need to raise money again. Before first flight of Neutron.
But at least they still enough time for current financial market turmoil to pass.

RL also spend ~$85M on investment (purchasing satellite parts company) H1 2022


Something from earning transcript
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4533334-rocket-lab-usa-inc-s-rklb-ceo-peter-beck-on-q2-2022-results-earnings-call-transcript
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Total production headcount ended Q2 2022 at 781
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Quarter ending R&D headcount was 308,

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In the Launch Services segment specifically, GAAP gross margin of negative 12% in the quarter compares to negative 3% in the second quarter of 2021. The decline in gross margin year-on-year was driven by less absorption of overhead, exacerbated by revised overhead rates that were impacted by a range of inflationary and other factors, including staff costs, but specifically stock-based compensation for production staff that factored in much less in the Q2 2021 period prior to Rocket Lab coming public.

Quote
In the Space Systems segment, GAAP gross margin of 20% in the quarter compares to 73% in the second quarter of 2021. These declines in gross margin year-on-year were driven largely by the mix impact of the addition of lower margin revenue from the SolAero acquisition, as well as previously referenced stock-based compensation for production staff stepped up relative to periods prior to Rocket Lab coming public in August 2021.

So recent purchase of satellite parts are not earning much money.
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Ronald Epstein

Got it, got it. And then maybe on the M&A front, are you all looking at more potential M&A in the systems business?

Peter Beck

Yes, I mean, we like to keep kind of half a dozen to a dozen companies in the [chute] [ph]. What I will say is that we haven't seen the valuation of those private companies come in line with probably the public market. It seems to be a bit of historical there. So, we're not seeing them in a – we're going to pay over the odds for anything there. But, you know, we continue a very active M&A strategy. There's a few things that we would like to add to the quiver, but we've been very disciplined about data in the current market.

M&A will continue.

Quote
Prices have been on average probably 15% to 30% higher than our sticker price. So, that kind of gives you a bit of an example of what the premium kind of looks like for this kind of responsive type of capability. And our sticker price again being call it $7.5 million is kind of what we advertise the baseline Electron launch to be.
Price of responsive launch

Quote
or example, to secure an Electron launch, it's a 10% nonrefundable deposit down before we'll engage.
Electron charge 10% non-refundable deposite


Quote
Peter Beck

Yes. So, there's been emerging competition coming for, as long as we've been flying Electron. And as of yet, it just hasn't materialized. I think it's easy to, kind of talk about disruptive technologies. It's actually super hard to do it and even harder to, you know, to do it reliably and consistently. Not being as arrogant to say that there's not going to be competition at some point arrive, it's just – it's been arriving for in the last decade, but it's not finally got there yet.

And with respect to the 1.0 ton class, I mean, we were very, very deliberate in the size of launch vehicle for a small dedicated launch vehicle that we developed. And we really think we've hit the sweet spot. Now, with respect to the, kind of the 1.0 ton class launch vehicles, our view has always been and the fundamental reason why we didn't develop one is you're in a complete no man's land with a 1.0 ton vehicle.

So, if you've got a dedicated small satellite that you need launched, Electron and Electrons price point is absolutely ideal. Nobody charges you less for half [indiscernible] rocket. Like if you want to buy a dedicated rocket, then you buy a dedicated rocket. And if you've only got 100 kg or 200 kg or 300 kg payload, then you've just bought a very – much more expensive rocket when you needed. And then on the flip side, from a larger perspective, you're competing directly with a [indiscernible] mine transport emissions. So, it's just the worst of all worlds.

It's too small to be an effective rideshare vehicle and too big to be a cost competitive dedicated launch vehicle. And I think as Adam mentioned previously, there's a lot of new entrant pricing out there, a lot of folks really don't have the experience to know what it actually costs to build and operate a launch vehicle and a lot of captured pricing going on that will be completely unsustainable in the future.

And so, if without the one-time sweet spot, then we would have built a vehicle, you know, through that and we could certainly, you know, pivot to building one very, very quickly, but we'd honestly think that is the rest of all worlds.

On small launch vehicle market

Quote
And we had a battery program, which is just about wrapped up, which will enable 10 recharges of the batteries, which is the largest single element that we were going to have to replace from the launch vehicle. So that program is just ramping up.

Reusing battery on Electron
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Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #155 on: 08/12/2022 05:32 pm »
Very interesting comments from Beck on the folly of developing a 1-ton rocket. Clearly things are heating up between Rocketlab and Relativity. Both CEO’s are firing subtle broadsides at one another’s plans.

RL has been the media darling as the “next, more palatable SpaceX” for some time now. Relativity is muscling in on that territory and RL clearly is not gonna take it lying down.

Getting the popcorn ready.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2022 05:34 pm by M.E.T. »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #156 on: 08/12/2022 05:46 pm »
Very interesting comments from Beck on the folly of developing a 1-ton rocket. Clearly things are heating up between Rocketlab and Relativity. Both CEO’s are firing subtle broadsides at one another’s plans.

RL has been the media darling as the “next, more palatable SpaceX” for some time now. Relativity is muscling in on that territory and RL clearly is not gonna take it lying down.

Getting the popcorn ready.
Lucky RL stayed out of 1000kg class as its about to get very crowded between Relativity, Firefly & ABL.


Offline trimeta

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #157 on: 08/12/2022 06:16 pm »
Don't expect a profit until 2024-25 especially as Neutron development and other expansions in space systems is using lot of their cash reserves but not enough to worry about.

I was thinking specifically about Electron launches having higher revenue than cost of revenue, not the company as a whole (due to R&D for Neutron). Although the point about their R&D costs being relatively low at present is interesting.

I suppose I didn't phrase that properly in my previous comment, though.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2022 06:17 pm by trimeta »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #158 on: 08/16/2022 12:32 am »
Here is complete video thanks to Tesla Bot.
Worth a listen if shareholder as there are few little titbits that other youtubers skipped on their summarizes of report.


Offline Star One

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Re: Rocket Lab to go public, develop new vehicle
« Reply #159 on: 09/21/2022 06:05 pm »

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