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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Rocket Lab bolsters Neutron Rocket Program with purchase of Virgin Orbit Long Beach California asset

Updated: May 25, 2023

Rocket Lab USA has been selected as a successful bidder and is finalising an asset purchase agreement for the purchase of certain Long Beach California aerospace production and manufacturing assets from Virgin Orbit Holdings and certain of its subsidiaries (“Virgin Orbit”) in Virgin Orbit’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy auction.

Rocket Lab’s successful bid of approximately $16.1 million includes the assumption of the lease to Virgin Orbit’s 144,000+ square foot headquarters and manufacturing complex at 4022 E. Conant St. in Long Beach, California (the “Conant Facility”), and certain production assets, machinery, and equipment located there. The successful bid does not include the purchase of Virgin Orbit’s Boeing 747 aircraft, launch vehicles or mobile launch assets for its rockets, or other Virgin Orbit facilities, inventory and assets. The purchase remains subject to finalizing the purchase agreement and approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware administering Virgin Orbit’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and other customary closing conditions.

The combination of these assets with Rocket Lab’s existing production, manufacturing, and test capabilities is expected to advance the production of Rocket Lab’s larger launch vehicle, Neutron. Rocket Lab will not be integrating Virgin Orbit’s launch system within its existing launch services.

Rocket Lab CEO and Founder, Peter Beck, says: “Rocket Lab is a global industry leader in launch, and our new, larger rocket Neutron will bring added reliability, reusability, and innovation to the launch sector. With Neutron’s design and development well-advanced, this transaction represents a capital expenditure savings opportunity to augment our production capability to bring Neutron to the launch pad quickly to serve our customers and their future success. Securing the lease to the Conant Facility adds to our existing presence in Long Beach and provides co-located engineering, manufacturing, and test capabilities for our Neutron team.”


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