Rocket Lab Photon satellite (Source - Rocket Lab)

Rocket Lab buys satellite hardware manufacturer

Last week Rocket Lab agreed to buy Sinclair Interplanetary, a Toronto-based provider of satellite hardware.  Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Buying Sinclair beefs up Rocket Lab’s satellite division and will enable Sinclair to tap into Rocket Lab’s “resources, scale, manufacturing capability and innovative technology,” according to the Rocket Lab release.

Sinclair develops and builds hardware like reaction wheels and star tracks incorporated into fast-track small satellite programs all the rage among the New Space world.  More than 90 satellites using Sinclair hardware have been put into orbit, including Rocket Lab customers AstroDigital and BlackSky while Sinclair reaction wheels will be a part of Kepler Communications 140 satellites in its IoT constellation.

“By combining the experience and capabilities of both companies, Rocket Lab will deliver reliable and flexible satellite and launch solutions that enable customers to do more, spend less and reach orbit faster.” Rocket Lab Founder and Chief Executive, Peter Beck, said. “Doug Sinclair and his team at Sinclair Interplanetary are recognized as industry leaders and, like Rocket Lab, they produce best-in-class solutions that satellite operators know they can count on. Sinclair’s dedication to quality and reliability aligns perfectly with Rocket Lab’s commitment to mission success. We’re thrilled to welcome Doug and the entire Sinclair team to the Rocket Lab family, and we look forward to working with them on Sinclair’s continued growth and success.”

Rocket Lab will incorporate Sinclair hardware into its own Photon satellite platforms and bring additional resources to grow Sinclair’s spacecraft component business. It would appear to be a win-win for both companies since there is no overlap between Rocket Lab’s established launch and potential satellite construction business and Sinclair’s component enterprise.

Peter Beck is a long-term planner. While the economic downturn will cause some difficulties for Rocket Lab, a good chunk of its launch business is for various U.S. Department of Defense agencies and NASA.  Beck may find other companies available at bargain prices if he can find a financial backer or two.

Doug Mohney

Doug Mohney, a principal at Cidera Analytics, has been working and writing about IT and satellite industries for over 20 years. His real world experience including stints at two start-ups, a commercial internet service provider that went public in 1997 for $150 million and a satellite internet broadband company. Follow him on Twitter at DougonTech or contact him at dmohney139 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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