These product include carbon composite spacecraft buses, structural panels and assemblies, satellite dispensers, aerostructures and heat shields, composite overwrap pressure vessels, solar panel substrates, launch vehicle structures and more.
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’s Space Structures Complex will be established in the 113,000 sq ft former Lockheed Martin Vertical Launch Building in Middle River, which has been home to aerospace manufacturing since 1929.
“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,” said Rocket Lab founder and CEO, Peter Beck. “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.”
Rocket Lab currently undertakes composite work for launch vehicles and spacecraft across its facilities in Long Beach, California, Albuquerque, New Mexico, as well as Auckland and Warkworth, New Zealand. Composite development and manufacturing will continue at these locations, while the new production complex in Middle River, Maryland will enable Rocket Lab to expand operations near the company’s growing assembly, integration and test complex in Virginia at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport and NASA Wallops Flight Facility, home to production, integration, and launch facilities for the Electron and Neutron rockets.