© Relativity Electronics Production | June 13, 2019
Relativity to build 3D rocket factory, add jobs in MS
Relativity Space has secured an agreement with NASA and an incentive package from the Mississippi Development Authority to expand facilities and infrastructure at NASA’s historic Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi to build the world’s first autonomous rocket factory.
With an expected first orbital launch in 2020, the company will build out first stage assembly, engine integration and testing, and a full 3D printing and robotics-enabled production line at the site. The project will create 200 jobs and invest USD 59 million in the state of Mississippi. According to a press release, Relativity will leverage valuable existing NASA infrastructure and capital investment incentives from MDA to build and integrate the rocket factory and an expanded testing facility for autonomous production of Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket launch vehicles. The agreement with NASA includes exclusive use of 220,000 square feet within building 9101 at Stennis Space Center for nine years, with an option to extend the lease for 10 additional years. Relativity’s partnership with the Mississippi Development Authority is supported by a significant cost reimbursement and tax incentive package for Relativity's employment and capital investments for advanced aerospace manufacturing and technology development in the State of Mississippi. The facility includes an 80-foot high bay, multiple bridge cranes, and extensive industrial infrastructure. This partnership between Relativity, NASA and the Mississippi Development Authority advances innovation, economic development, and job growth in the Gulf.. Relativity will invest in regional workforce development programs, university and education outreach, and community engagement initiatives. The infrastructure and resource incentives will enable the company to accelerate development and scaling of its technology and shorten lead times to launch. Relativity VP of Operations Tobias Duschl said, “This partnership will foster innovation, investment, and growth in Mississippi. The integration of our 3D printing rocket production and testing facilities at one site will also enable Relativity to offer greater flexibility to commercial and government entities needing faster, more frequent, and lower cost access to space.” With this expansion at Stennis, Relativity is increasing infrastructure fourfold to over 280,000 square feet of operations, production, testing, and launch facilities and is on track to reach over 350,000 square feet of space in 2019. Relativity became the first venture-backed company to secure a launch site Right of Entry at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex-16 from the U.S. Air Force, and has a 20-year exclusive-use Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) agreement at the NASA Stennis Space Center E4 test complex, as well as membership on the National Space Council advising the U.S. White House. Relativity is also securing a polar and Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) capable launch site this year.