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Rocket Lab raises $75 million for production of electron rocket with 3D printed engine

US and New Zealand based rocket manufacturer Rocket Lab has closed a $75m Series D financing round, led by Data Collective, with additional investors Promus Ventures and an undisclosed investor. The company has partnered with this group of investors because of their experience in the space industry.  They have also renewed participation in this round from existing investors – Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and K1W1 – who have provided continued expertise and support in the company’s effort to make space accessible to everyone. The closure of the round brings the total funding Rocket Lab has received to date to $148 million, with the company value now in excess of $1 billion (USD).  

Currently, small satellite companies wait years to get on orbit, often at the mercy and schedules of larger payloads. With Electron, they will be provided a high-frequency, quality launch service that will take customers where they want to go, when they want to fly. The commercial and humanitarian applications this will open up are endless. The satellites Electron will launch are used to provide optimized crop monitoring, natural disaster prediction, Internet from space, improved weather reporting, up-to-date maritime data and search and rescue services.

Last month, the first Electron vehicle arrived to Launch Complex 1, the company’s private launch facility on the Mahia Peninsula. The rocket first stage’s nine Rutherford engines are the first oxygen/kerosene engine to use 3D printing for all primary components. The team is currently hard at work commissioning the site. In other words, they’re completing hundreds of tests to ensure that all systems are safe and ready for launch.

The test flight program will begin with the first Electron rocket. It’s s a test aiming to get Rocket Lab’s own flying laboratory, complete with 20,000 data channels, into Low-Earth Orbit. The insight it will gather will prove invaluable in learning from the first flight and iterate on the vehicle so as to optimize its performance in advance of future launches.

The company has also just opened a new Huntington Beach, California office. This new facility will enable Rocket Lab to triple its production rate. They are now actively hiring for our engineering and business units to rapidly grow and scale up in both the Huntington Beach HQ and the Auckland, NZ office.

Open positions are listed on the company’s careers page.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst for leading US-firm SmarTech Analysis, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he Co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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