Small-satellite launch company Rocket Lab has moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach, citing expansion plans.
Rocket Lab’s new 150,000-square-foot base in Orange County will primarily focus on engine and electronics manufacturing, said Peter Beck, company chief executive. The company plans to produce seven rockets this year.
Beck said the company was attracted to Huntington Beach for its “rich history” of aerospace, as well as reserves of “good, talented staff and services.” Aerospace giant Boeing Co. also has facilities in the city, including the Phantom Works advanced research and development team.
Rocket Lab also completed a $75-million funding round led by San Francisco venture capital fund Data Collective, which will help increase the company’s manufacturing capabilities.
The first flight test of the company’s Electron rocket could happen in the next couple of months, Beck said. Rocket Lab plans to complete at least three flight tests before launching customer payloads.
Rocket Lab has contracts with Earth-imaging firm Planet and NASA, among others, to launch small satellites.
The company recently completed construction in September on its private launch complex on New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula.
Rocket Lab has about 150 to 200 employees, though only about 10 to 20 are in the Huntington Beach office. Beck said the company is already starting to ramp up hiring there.