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Rocket Lab Plans Hancock County, Mississippi, Engine Test Complex

Space company Rocket Lab is locating an engine test facility for its new large rocket Neutron at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi. The project is expected to create dozens of jobs.

The Archimedes Test Complex will be located within the A-3 Test Complex and will include exclusive use and development of existing industrial NASA infrastructure and the center’s A-3 Test Stand. The company expects to begin construction in the near future.

“The strong support from NASA and Mississippi to bring Neutron to the state made Stennis an easy decision over other potential sites. Stennis Space Center’s legacy in aerospace and skilled workforce will be both a boost to Neutron’s development and help grow Mississippi’s already robust aerospace test capabilities, securing a future for the state in innovative technology and aerospace,” said Rocket Lab Vice President – Launch Systems, Shaun D’Mello.

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is providing assistance for site development and equipment relocation and installation. Hancock County and Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, also are assisting with the project.

“Rocket Lab, in partnership with the state of Mississippi and NASA’s Stennis Space Center, is building technology that furthers our great state as a leader in space launch capabilities. Additionally, this project will further expand the crucial role our workforce has in future spaceflight,” noted MDA Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp.

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle has delivered 150 satellites to orbit for private- and public-sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring and communications.

“Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission is excited to have Rocket Lab join us in Hancock County. As the cornerstone of Mississippi’s aerospace industry, we have the resources, the knowledgeable people and the industrial synergy to continue expanding frontiers and possibilities for humanity. The path to space truly runs through Hancock County,” Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission CEO Bill Cotter noted.

Rocket Lab is the launcher of Electron, the second most-frequently flown U.S. rocket, and is developing Neutron, its much larger, reusable rocket, to carry out national security missions and deliver multiple satellites to space.

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