Relativity Space has secured an agreement with NASA 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.
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.
The facility includes multiple bridge cranes, and extensive industrial infrastructure.
Relativity Vice President 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.