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Rocket Lab is Constructing New Facility for Reaction Wheel Production 

By | September 2, 2021

Rocket Lab’s production complex. Photo: Rocket Lab/Business Wire

Rocket Lab has started construction on a new facility that will increase production of reaction wheels to fulfill growing demand from satellite constellation customers. The company said this expansion comes after it has signed deals to supply reaction wheels for a number of undisclosed satellite constellations.

The company said the facility will be able to supply up to 2,000 reaction wheels per year. Reaction wheels are a type of flywheel used by spacecraft for three-axis attitude control. The production line incorporates advanced metal machining centers, automated production tools, and automated environmental testing workstations. Rocket Lab expects to add more than 16 new roles to support production. 

This is an investment into capabilities that Rocket Lab brought in house when it acquired Sinclair Interplanetary in 2020. CEO Peter Beck Rocket said that already this year, Rocket Lab has surpassed the total number of satellite components produced by Sinclair annually. 

“For the longest time, spacecraft and satellite components have been built individually by highly specialized engineers with a high price tag and long wait times to match. With the rise in constellations, the demand for high-quality components and spacecraft produced at scale continues to grow and we’re addressing the bottleneck head on,” Beck said.