Rocket Lab has bought satellite company Sinclair Interplanetary to broaden its range of services.
Toronto-based Sinclair Interplanetary develops spacecraft hardware, including reaction wheels and star trackers that support rapid-schedule small satellite programs.
Rocket Lab said the purchase - for an undisclosed sum - strengthens its satellite division.
It makes Photon spacecraft and will enable Sinclair to tap into its resources, scale, manufacturing capability and innovative technology.
Some of the Sinclair hardware has included Rocket Lab-launched satellites from AstroDigital, ALE, and BlackSky.
Sinclair developed hardware for world-first missions: BRITE, the world's smallest space telescope; and The Planetary Society's LightSail 2, the first satellite in Earth orbit to be propelled solely by sunlight.
Satellite communications company, Kepler Communications, has also selected Sinclair reaction wheels for its constellation of 140 Internet of Things satellites currently in development.
Rocket Lab will look to leverage Sinclair Interplanetary's strong brand and track record.
Sinclair products will be key features of Rocket Lab's in-house designed and built Photon satellite platforms, and Rocket Lab will bring additional resources to grow Sinclair's already strong merchant spacecraft components business.
Rocket Lab founder and chief executive, Peter Beck, said that 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.
Doug Sinclair founded his company in 2001 and said Rocket Lab had played a pivotal role in making it easy for small satellites to access space.
''By operating as one company, we now have the opportunity to do the same for satellite manufacturing and make our hardware available to more customers globally,'' he said.
'We will be able to supply larger constellations than before, and take our hardware out to the Moon and beyond.'
In terms of any coronavirus impact, a Rocket Lab spokeswoman said, "Like many other organisations, Rocket Lab is currently pausing international travel for our team in light of the Covid situation, however we do not expect this to impact our operations significantly. Launch is still on track for the end of this month."
Quelle: NZ Herald