Rocket Lab Shares Surge on NASA Solar Sail Launch Contract
(Bloomberg) -- Shares of Rocket Lab USA Inc. surged as much as 25% in late trading Wednesday after the company said it won a contract to launch a NASA technology demonstration next year.
NASA will send its Advanced Composite Solar Sail System, known as ACS3, to orbit in mid-2022 aboard Rocket Lab’s Electron vehicle as part of a mission with other small satellites for other customers.
Solar sails use the pressure of sunlight for propulsion, much like sailboats use wind for power. With photons as an energy source, spacecraft could accelerate for extended periods while also eliminating the need for traditional propellants.
Rocket Lab is based in Long Beach, California and has launch sites in New Zealand and Virginia.
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