Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck

Rocket Lab founder and Chief Executive Peter Beck

Long Beach-based Rocket Lab USA Inc. has acquired Advanced Solutions Inc., a Littleton, Colo.-based aerospace engineering firm, for $40 million.

The acquisition will strengthen Rocket Lab’s space systems sector, which currently encompasses Photon spacecraft manufacturing and a suite of spacecraft hardware solutions, the company said in its announcement on Oct. 12.

Along with the upfront cost of the acquisition, Rocket Lab may pay Advanced Solutions an additional $5.5 million based on the company’s 2021 performance.

Following the announcement of the acquisition, Rocket Lab’s share prices briefly jumped to $14.06 in mid-morning before falling to $13.50 at market close.

“Both Rocket Lab and ASI have built leading space businesses with mission-proven technology, and have a shared vision of making it easier to get to space and do incredible things there, so we’re excited to welcome ASI aboard to further enhance our space systems portfolio and deliver enhanced end-to-end space solutions,” Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

Advanced Solutions’ roughly 60-person team will remain in Colorado under the leadership of John Cuseo, the company’s founder and chief executive. Advanced Solutions’ employees will continue to serve its existing customer base with access to Rocket Lab’s resources.

The acquisition gives Rocket Lab a foothold in Colorado, which the company said has the “nation’s second-largest aerospace economy,” with a heavy presence of space programs, military commands, and research laboratories and universities.

“The two companies complement each other very well,” Cuseo said in a statement. “By coming together, we will continue to serve our customers and innovate in our areas of expertise, including space software and (guidance, navigation and control), but now with more rocket fuel in the tank to play with.”

Advanced Solutions was founded in 1995 and develops a suite of software and technology solutions for space mission design and operation. Its flight software, called Max, has operated in more than 45 spacecraft.

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