Rocket Lab Acquires Planetary Systems Corporation for $42 Million

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Rocket Lab Acquires Planetary Systems Corporation for $42 Million

Today Rocket Lab announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Planetary Systems Corporation (PSC), a company that supplies separation systems used to severe spacecraft from their rockets after launch.

The deal, worth $42 million in cash and 1,720,841 shares of the Company’s common stock, plus the potential for an additional 956,023 shares of common stock for a performance earnout based on PSC’s CY 2022 and 2023 financial results, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Rocket Lab, manufacturer of the popular Electron launch vehicle, will integrate PSC’s separation systems and other hardware across its Space Systems division, home to Photon satellite buses and spacecraft components solutions. In return, the smaller company will be able to use Rocket Lab’s resources and manufacturing capability. So far, across more than 100 of PSC’s missions, all have succeeded.

Rocket Lab Acquires Planetary Systems Corporation for $42 Million
Peter Beck

“Having integrated several of PSC’s industry-leading products across our own Electron launches, we’ve seen up close the incredible attention to detail and impeccable craftsmanship that sets them apart as industry leaders in launch vehicle and spacecraft separation systems,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab Founder and CEO. “Like Rocket Lab, PSC has a dedication to producing the best products and services that lower costs without compromising on quality and reliability. By combining our engineering expertise and capabilities, Rocket Lab and PSC will continue to pioneer the industry with trusted, mission-critical hardware and services that are cost-effective and streamline access to space.”

In addition to its Lightband separation systems, PSC produces the Canisterized Satellite Dispenser (CSD), a capsule that protects small satellites during launch, then deploys them in space. With properties that allow it to mount any face, the CSD doesn’t require heavy interface structures between satellites and the launch vehicle.

Rocket Lab will continue to offer its own Maxwell satellite dispenser across ground, launch, satellite design and build, flight software and GNC, as well as expand the company’s in-house merchant space hardware repertoire. PSC will also continue to work with its existing customers and vendors.

Mike Whalen and Walter Holemans will remain in their current roles as PSC’s CEO and Chief Engineer, respectively.

Rocket Lab Acquires Planetary Systems Corporation for $42 Million
Walter Holemans

“PSC started 23 years ago as a one-person company in the living room of a row house in Washington, DC,” said Holemans. “Thanks to a super talented team and a lot of hard work, we accomplished our mission of delivering high value technologies to our customers. Now, we are delighted to be joining the team at Rocket Lab to deliver the next evolution in space systems.”

PSC’s small team of 25 is only the latest acquisition by Rocket Lab. The company also picked up Advanced Solutions in October 2021 and Sinclair Interplanetary in April 2020.

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