Defence

Rocket Lab selects NASA’s Stennis Space Center for Neutron Propulsion Test Facility

Rocket Lab USA, Inc (Nasdaq: RKLB) has chosen NASA’s historic Stennis Space Center in Mississippi as the site for the engine test facility for its reusable Neutron rocket.

The Archimedes Test Complex will be located in the larger Test Complex A at the Stennis Space Center in 1 million square feet for 10 years, with an option to extend the lease for another 10 years. The Archimedes Test Facility will include the exclusive use and development of NASA’s existing industrial infrastructure and the Center’s A-3 test bed for the development and testing of Neutron’s Archimedes reusable thrusters. Rocket Lab also received a capital investment incentive from the Mississippi Development Authority to further develop facilities and infrastructure at Stennis for Neutron. With the expansion of Stennis Space Center to include the Archimedes Test Complex, Rocket Lab is expected to create dozens of new jobs and make significant capital investments in the state of Mississippi.

Neutron is Rocket Lab’s reusable rocket in development, designed to be a cost-effective, reliable, and responsive launch service that helps build megaconstellations, deliver large spacecraft to low-Earth orbit, geostationary orbit, and interplanetary destinations, and to support extended presence man in space. Neutron will be powered by in-house designed and manufactured reusable Archimedes rocket engines and an advanced upper stage to provide high performance for complex satellite deployments.

Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck says, “Before rockets went to the moon, they first had to go through Mississippi, and as we build a new rocket to once again change access to space, Stennis is the right place for Neutron. a testbed from scratch to the scale and complexity required to test and develop Archimedes would have taken an unimaginably long time, so the fact that we have secured Stennis and can use the existing infrastructure and test bed allows us to quickly get to the first launch of Neutron. The icing on the cake is fantastic partners like NASA and Mississippi State, who are bringing innovative rocket science, economic development and new jobs to the Gulf Coast.”

Rocket Lab Vice President – Launch Systems Sean D’Mello says, “The strong support, willingness and flexibility of NASA Stennis and Mississippi to host Neutron engine testing in the state made Stennis an ideal location compared to other potential sites. Stennis Space Center’s legacy in the field rocket engine testing, established infrastructure and skilled workforce will both fuel Neutron’s development and help enhance Mississippi’s already robust aerospace testing capabilities, securing the state’s future in innovative technology.”

Rocket Lab expects to soon begin construction on the Archimedes Test Facility at the Stennis Space Center. At the same time, construction continues on the neutron production facility and launch site on Wallops Island, within NASA’s Wallops Flight Complex and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Virginia’s eastern shore. Combined, the two sites represent more than two million square feet of Neutron manufacturing, testing and launch facilities. Neutron’s further expansion will continue throughout the United States as the program progresses until its first launch.


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https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Rocket_Lab_selects_NASA_Stennis_Space_Center_for_Neutron_Engine_Test_Facility_999.html Rocket Lab selects NASA’s Stennis Space Center for Neutron Propulsion Test Facility

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