Rocket Lab prepares to blast off in Mississippi

Jackson, Miss. (September 21, 2022) – U.S.-based Rocket Lab is locating an engine test facility for its new large rocket Neutron at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, making a significant capital investment and creating dozens of new jobs in Hancock County.

Rocket Lab is the launcher of Electron, the second most-frequently flown U.S. rocket, and is developing Neutron, its much larger, reusable rocket, to carry out national security missions and deliver multiple satellites to space. Rocket Lab has selected Stennis Space Center as the site of the test and development complex for Archimedes, its Neutron rocket engines.

The Archimedes Test Complex will be located within the A-3 Test Complex at Stennis Space Center and will include exclusive the use and development of existing industrial NASA infrastructure and the center’s A-3 Test Stand. Rocket Lab expects to begin construction of the Neutron Test Complex in the near future.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for site development and equipment relocation and installation. Hancock County and Stennis Space Center also are assisting with the project.

Founded in 2006, Rocket Lab is an end-to-end space company with an established track record of mission success. Since its first orbital launch in January 2018, Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle and has delivered 150 satellites to orbit for private- and public-sector organizations, enabling operations in national security, scientific research, space debris mitigation, Earth observation, climate monitoring and communications. Building on the achievements of Electron, Rocket Lab’s next-generation launch vehicle Neutron is designed for constellation deployment, cargo resupply and interplanetary missions. Rocket Lab also develops mission-ready spacecraft and satellite subsystems.


“When it comes to the aerospace industry, it’s all systems go in Mississippi. That’s because our state offers a prime location for innovative research, well-trained workers, and innovative technology development. Rocket Lab is a wonderful addition to the impressive range of global leaders who call NASA’s Stennis Space Center home and I’m excited to welcome them here.”Gov. Tate Reeves

“Rocket Lab, in partnership with the state of Mississippi and NASA’s Stennis Space Center, is building technology that furthers our great state as a leader in space launch capabilities. Additionally, this project will further expand the crucial role our workforce has in future spaceflight.”– MDA Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp

“The strong support from NASA and Mississippi to bring Neutron to the state made Stennis an easy decision over other potential sites. Stennis Space Center’s legacy in aerospace and skilled workforce will be both a boost to Neutron’s development and help grow Mississippi’s already robust aerospace test capabilities, securing a future for the state in innovative technology and aerospace.” Rocket Lab Vice President – Launch Systems Shaun D’Mello

“Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission is excited to have Rocket Lab join us in Hancock County. As the cornerstone of Mississippi’s aerospace industry, we have the resources, the knowledgeable people and the industrial synergy to continue expanding frontiers and possibilities for humanity. The path to space truly runs through Hancock County.” – Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission CEO Bill Cotter


About Mississippi Development Authority

Mississippi Development Authority is the state’s lead economic and community development agency. MDA focuses on new business recruitment, existing business expansion, workforce training, and tourism promotion. For more information, visit MDA’s website at

About NASA’s Stennis Space Center

Stennis Space Center, located near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, is a federal city operated by NASA since 1961. More than 40 onsite agencies, organizations, universities, and companies share operating costs, while pursuing individual missions, as a model of fiscal efficiency. If their combined workforces of more than 5,000 employees were counted as a single entity, Stennis would rank among the Top 10 Mississippi companies in size. The site is a major economic engine for the Gulf Coast region, with an average direct annual impact of more than $625 million within a 50-mile radius. For information about Stennis Space Center, visit:

About Rocket Lab

Rocket Lab is a global leader in space, delivering proven and reliable space services spanning launch, spacecraft manufacture, satellite subsystems, flight software and on-orbit operations. Since 2018, the company’s Electron rocket has delivered proven and reliable launch for civil, national security, defense and commercial customers, deploying 150 satellites to orbit. Building on the achievements of Electron, Rocket Lab is developing a next generation large reusable launch vehicle, Neutron, designed for constellation deployment, cargo resupply, interplanetary missions. Rocket Lab also develops mission-ready spacecraft and satellite subsystems. More than 1,700 spacecraft on orbit feature Rocket Lab technology including space solar power, radios, separation systems, propulsion, flight software, star trackers and reaction wheels. Headquartered in Long Beach, California, Rocket Lab operates three launch pads at two launch sites across New Zealand and Virginia, and has operations in Virginia, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico and Toronto. Visit

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