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Varda Space Industries orders 4th Photon from Rocket Lab for In-Space Manufacturing
by Staff Writers
Long Beach CA (SPX) May 25, 2022


Rocket Lab (Nasdaq: RKLB) and Varda Space Industries, the world's first In-space manufacturing and hypersonic Earth re-entry logistics company, report that Varda will procure a fourth Photon spacecraft. The deal follows on a previous bulk-order by Varda in August 2021 for three Photon spacecraft from Rocket Lab.

The Rocket Lab-designed and built Photon spacecraft will provide power, communications, propulsion, and attitude control for Varda's 120 kg in-space manufacturing satellite which will produce high-value products in zero-gravity and return them to Earth in a re-entry capsule.

In addition to providing on-orbit support during the in-space manufacturing phase of Varda's mission, the Photons will place Varda's hypersonic re-entry capsule, carrying the finished products, on a return trajectory to markets on Earth using Photon's 3D-printed Curie engine.

Rocket Lab will design and manufacture all four Photons at its Long Beach-based spacecraft production line. Leveraging Rocket Lab's vertically integrated capabilities as an end-to-end space company, each Photon will incorporate Rocket Lab star trackers, reaction wheels, solar panels, flight software, and radios.

"Our growing space systems capabilities offer a compelling balance of performance, heritage, schedule reliability, and cost, ultimately making innovative missions like Varda's in-space factories possible with speed and efficiency," said Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck. "Photon is bringing new capabilities to market quickly, meeting the growing customer demand for advanced, configurable satellite technology. We're very pleased to continue strengthening the partnership with Varda and look forward to delivering hardware early next year."

"Rocket Lab's Photon bus is a great compliment to Varda's in-space manufacturing and hypersonic re-entry logistics service," said Varda CEO Will Bruey. "Rocket Lab shares Varda's vision to build an in-space economy to improve life on Earth and beyond. We look forward to working with Peter and the team at Rocket Lab as we grow our businesses and work to expand the bounds of humankind."

Related Links
Rocket Lab
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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With a new major propulsion contract signed to support Space Forge's in-space manufacturing mission, Benchmark Space Systems has announced it has opened a manufacturing and testing facility Northwest of London to build a regional team and its Starling and Halcyon propulsion systems to help empower the flourishing European space sector. The agreement brings together two of the fastest growing space tech startups in the UK and US that share an energy and passion for pushing innovation to further dri ... read more

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