Space-grade solar manufacturer, Rocket Labs, expanding in Albuquerque

Space-grade solar manufacturer, Rocket Labs, expanding in Albuquerque

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city’s Economic Development Department says 100 manufacturing jobs are coming to Albuquerque with the expansion of Rocket Labs, a company that manufactures solar cells for spacecraft and satellites.

“This investment demonstrates that Albuquerque is a prime location for developing cutting-edge technology,” Economic Development Director Max Gruner said in a press release. “We have state-of-the-art research facilities, educational institutions, and a skilled workforce to support this growth.”

New Mexico attorney general backs effort to create nationwide AI-based child exploitation commission

The company is expanding its production in Albuquerque using funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The funds come via the federal CHIPS and Science Act, which will provide up to $23.9 million for the expansion.

“Not only will this $23.9M investment help strengthen our national security and increase the amount of advanced semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, it will create 100 good paying jobs for New Mexicans,” U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández said in a press release. “With this funding, our satellites won’t be dependent on foreign sources for solar power, and instead use American-manufactured solar cells made from compound semiconductors. Manufacturing is growing in New Mexico and this is exactly the kind of growth we had in mind when we passed the CHIPS and Science Act.”

Rocket Lab is the parent company of SolAero Technologies, one of the few domestic companies that specializes in radiation-resistant semiconductors. They support NASA and commercial satellite companies, according to New Mexico’s congressional delegation.