Middle River, Md. — Rocket Lab USA Inc. on Nov. 17 announced the opening of a production and development complex for advanced composite products for the space industry.
The Space Structures Complex in Middle River will support manufacturing and development of carbon composite spacecraft buses, structural panels and assemblies, satellite dispensers, aerostructures and heat shields, composite overwrap pressure vessels, solar panel substrates and launch vehicle structures.
The site will also play a role in the development and long-term supply of carbon composite structures for Rocket Lab's new medium lift launch vehicle, Neutron.
"Rocket Lab is a world leader in advanced composites through our launch and spacecraft programs, so this is a natural progression as we continue growing our space systems offering," Rocket Lab founder and CEO Peter Beck said in a news release.
"We have the experienced team, manufacturing and test equipment, established supply chain, and heritage to deliver reliable composite products to the space industry at scale, and because we're deeply vertically integrated, we can do it fast and at competitive prices," Beck said.
The complex is housed in a 113,000-square-foot facility that has been home to aerospace manufacturing since 1929, most recently as the Lockheed Martin Vertical Launch Building.
Long Beach, Calif.-based Rocket Lab currently does composite work for launch vehicles and spacecraft in Long Beach; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Auckland and Warkworth, New Zealand. Composite development and manufacturing will continue at these locations.
The publicly traded company also operates a manufacturing facility for satellite separation systems and CubeSat dispensers in Silver Spring, Md.