How does Rocket Lab really make money?
Let’s be honest, most of the news on Earth has been a bit, erm, depressing lately. Are things this bad in space? Nope. There are no wars or recessions or inflation woes in space! 🌠
Analysts at Citigroup believe the space industry could be set to blast higher than our already stratospheric cost of living in the years to come. The bank says the space industry is on its way to reach US$1 trillion in annual revenue by 2040. It’s not quite infinity and beyond, but it’s more than double the US$424 billion it was worth in 2020. And thanks to reusable rockets that can land themselves, or be scooped up by a helicopter, launch costs for accessing space could drop by as much as 95%.
Space companies are already getting buzzed. Last week Boeing (BA) changed out of their jimjams into space suits, entering the space race by successfully docking their Starliner spacecraft with the International Space Station. On the same space-time continuum last week, Rocket Lab (RKLB) announced that revenue in the first quarter of 2022 had more than doubled year-on-year to US$40.7 million. The company’s order backlog also rocketed to US$546 million.🚀
That seems like a lot for a company that’s only launched three missions so far in 2022. But surprisingly, launching rockets isn’t how Rocket Lab makes most of their money. Only 16% of the company’s revenue came from launch services in the first quarter. The other 84% came from building satellites and components, made possible thanks to a few significant acquisitions the company made over the last 12 months. Still, the Rocket Lab share price has fallen back to earth this year, down 61%. But at least they can stargaze and keep their focus firmly in space. Their next stop? To the moon. 🌙
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