The US Department of Commerce has awarded $23.9m in direct funding towards Rocket Lab, the parent company of space tech provider SolAero Technologies. 

The funding is intended to go towards the manufacturing of semiconductors for spacecrafts and satellites. 

The Biden administration stated that the funding would help Rocket Lab modernise its semiconductor plants, with a view to increasing Rocket Lab’s semiconductor manufacturing by 50% over the next three years. 

The new funding is projected to create around 100 additional jobs in the state of New Mexico, where Rocket Lab is headquartered. 

The funding is part of the US CHIPS and Science Act, passed August 2022, to build domestic chip manufacturing capacity. 

In a statement, the Biden Administration said that the funding would help meet growing demand for semiconductors for national security and commercial usage. 

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“Solar cells are important for keeping our communication and space technology powered and operational, and this proposed award would help our military, NASA, and our commercial space industry have access to the specialty semiconductors they need to keep our country safe and continue to lead in scientific discoveries,” stated US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. 

In its 2023 thematic intelligence report into the space economy, research and analysis company GlobalData reported that it could exceed a market value of $760bn by 2030, achieving a CAGR of six percent from 2022.