The Defense Department awarded two contracts to space-related manufacturing companies under the Defense Production Act that will help sustain the need for critical parts through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department signed a $12.45 million award with 5N Plus Semiconductor, headquartered in St. George, Utah. The award will help improve semiconductor production processes “to support long term business viability and maintain the sole domestic source of critical semiconductor technologies for space programs,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Mike Andrews, Pentagon spokesman, in a May 29 statement. Work will be conducted over the next 39 months.

The second award is worth $6 million and went to Albuquerque, New Mexico-based SolAero Technologies to allow the company to increase domestic capability and capacity for advanced satellite solar cells and panels. The two awards use funds authorized and appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.