Rocket Lab to Acquire Space-Based Solar Power Provider SolAero

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SolAero headquarters building. Photo: SolAero

Based in California rocket lab seeks to supply its Neutron rocket for the future US space force launches, the company on Dec. 13 took a step toward alternative power sources when the company said it planned to buy $80 million from New Mexico-based GroundAero, a renowned supplier of space solar energy products.

Rocket Lab said it expects to close the deal early next year — an acquisition that could give the company some leverage as Pentagon officials shift to more environmentally friendly systems. the environment.

“The acquisition aligns with Rocket Lab’s vertical integration growth strategy to provide a comprehensive space solution that spans spacecraft manufacturing, satellite subsystems, flight software, ground operations and launch,” Rocket Lab said in a Dec. 13 statement. of the only two companies producing high-efficiency space solar cells in the United States, SolAero’s space solar cells are among the most efficient in the world and support civil space exploration, science, defense and intelligence, as well as commercial markets. By partnering with Rocket Lab, SolAero will leverage the company’s resources and manufacturing capacity to drive high-volume production, making high-performance space energy technologies available at scale.

Rocket Lab ticked off a list of what the company said were SolAero’s accomplishments, including providing power to Nasa‘s Parker Solar Probe and Mars Insight Lander, the largest solar array ever deployed on the surface of Mars, several Cygnus Cargo resupply missions to the International Space Station, and the development and construction of solar power on Ingenuity, l helicopter that flew to Mars in April.

“SolAero technology has also made commercial constellations possible, providing power to OneWebof the Broadband Constellation,” by Rocket Lab. More recently, “SolAero was selected to supply solar power modules for NASA’s Gateway Power and Propulsion Element as part of NASA’s Artemis lunar exploration plans, which will enable future mission to Mars.”

This acquisition caps off a busy year for Rocket Lab. In 2021, the company hit the milestone of deploying 100 satellites, went public via a SPAC, unveiled plans for the largest Neutron rocket, and acquired a space software company. Advanced solutions.

This article was first published by our sister publication Defense Daily.

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