Relativity Space has now become the largest commercial presence at NASA Stennis, surpassing SpaceX.


Relativity Space, the 3D printing aerospace company that is in a race with SpaceX to reach Mars, is expanding its presence on Earth. The company has recently signed an enhanced use lease agreement (EULA) with NASA’s Stennis Space Center, securing a vertical test stand. This lease agreement marks the first time a commercial tenant has modified a legacy test stand, and it positions Relativity as the largest commercial presence at the center in Hancock, Mississippi.

The A-2 Test Stand, which was originally built in 1966 for testing and flight-certifying the second stage of the Saturn V rocket, has been dormant for nearly a decade. The agreement with Relativity will breathe new life into the A-2 Test Stand and inject $267 million into the facility over the next four years. The company anticipates that this investment will lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs in the Hancock region, all in support of the development of Relativity’s medium-heavy lift rocket, the Terran R.

Relativity Space has expressed its gratitude for the support it has received from NASA and the state of Mississippi. The company’s Co-Founder and CEO, Tim Ellis, stated, “The scale of Terran R as a medium-heavy lift reusable launch vehicle is substantial. Exclusive access to these rare, national-asset facilities through partnership with NASA uniquely enables Relativity to develop a world-class launch vehicle.”

In order to expedite the testing process and bring the Terran R to market faster, Relativity will be adding new infrastructure to the A-2 Test Stand. This will support the first-stage testing of its reusable 3D-printed rocket. The company’s ultimate goal in securing this lease agreement is to increase the speed of iterative testing and reduce the time it takes to bring the Terran R to market.

Dr. Rick Gilbrech, Director of NASA’s Stennis Space Center, praised Relativity for the progress it has made since arriving on site in 2016. He stated, “Since arriving on site in 2016, the company has grown into a valued member of the NASA Stennis community. This increased footprint is a testament to Relativity’s continued progress in the commercial space arena.”

Relativity Space’s expansion at the Stennis Space Center not only signifies the company’s growth but also its commitment to advancing the possibilities of space exploration. With its innovative 3D printing technology and now exclusive access to the A-2 Test Stand, Relativity is well-positioned to continue making strides in the commercial space industry.

Original source


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