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Rocket Lab to Get Funding Under CHIPS Act for Semiconductors

Rocket Lab Space Structures Complex
Credit: Rocket Lab

Ibadan, 12 June 2024. – Rocket Lab USA, Inc. has signed a non-binding preliminary memorandum of terms (PMT) with the Department of Commerce that would see it receive up to $23.9M in direct funding under the CHIPS and Science Act. The Company also plans to claim the Department of the Treasury’s Investment Tax Credit, which is potentially up to 25% of qualified capital expenditures.

The proposed investment would enable Rocket Lab to increase its production of compound semiconductors for spacecraft and satellites, as part of an expansion and modernization of the Company’s facility in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It would also help create a more robust and resilient supply of space-grade solar cells as well as more than 100 direct manufacturing jobs. The modernization and expansion project would also increase Rocket Lab’s compound semiconductor production by 50% within the next three years.

Rocket Lab acquired SolAero Technologies Inc in 2022, making the Company one of only two companies domestically, and three companies outside of Russia and China, that specialize in producing radiation-resistant compound semiconductors called space-grade solar cells. The Company’s space-grade solar cells power critical space programs such as missile awareness systems and exploratory science missions including the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s Artemis lunar explorations, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, and the Mars Insight Lander.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Sir Peter Beck, said, “Semiconductors are central to modern life, to our economy, and to America’s future. We are proud to be strengthening that future with the support of the CHIPS Office by expanding our production facilities to meet the growing demand for the semiconductors that power the nation’s most critical science, defense and commercial space missions. This program is a continuation of our commitment to ensuring resilient U.S. supply chains and creating highly productive local jobs.”

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