NASA Stennis Space Center, Rocket Lab celebrate 10-year deal with ribbon cutting ceremony

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BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (WLOX) – On Friday, NASA’s Stennis Space Center and Rocket Lab USA held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate a new agreement that allows NASA to locate its engine test complex at the rocket propulsion site in Bay St. Louis.

Officials came together at the Stennis Test Complex for the ceremony, which marked the launch of a 10-year agreement.

“We are pleased that Rocket Lab selected Stennis Space Center for development of its new test complex,” Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech said. “With finalization of this agreement, we look forward to working with Rocket Lab as it develops and moves forward in achieving its space goals. This represents an exciting opportunity not only for Stennis but also for the Gulf Coast region and the entire state of Mississippi.”

The agreement allows the A-3 Test Stand and 24 surrounding acres at Stennis to be incorporated into the Archimedes Test Complex. The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is providing assistance for Rocket Lab to develop the new site and to relocate and install equipment.

“It was only a few weeks ago when we announced Stennis as the location of our Archimedes Test Complex and we’re already fast at work to get the site up and running to deliver Neutron,” said Peter Beck, founder and CEO of Rocket Lab. “Thanks to our partnership with NASA and the state of Mississippi, we can begin to develop the existing infrastructure and test stand at Stennis to fast-track Neutron’s first launch. We look forward to breathing fire in the great state of Mississippi.”

Rocket Lab expects to begin construction in the Archimedes Test Complex at Stennis to build two engine test cells for single engine testing. They also envision building an additional test cell with the ability to test individual engine components.

The deal includes an option to extend an additional 10 years.

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