Vector Space Systems has tested a first stage engine that features an injector the company produced with NASA‘s science, technology and mission directorate using three-dimensional printing technology.
The engine test occurred Dec. 8 in Mojave, California, and was a key step towards Vector Space Systems’ goal to help startups gain access to space through the Vector-R rocket, the company said Thursday.
“Our team at Marshall is already starting to incorporate the lessons from this test into the next phase of injector design using additive manufacturing, and we are looking forward to getting one of these units into flight next year,” said John Peugeot, engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
Vector secured approval from Pima County’s Board of Supervisors to establish a rocket factory for Vector-R and Vector-H launch vehicles in the area and the company expects the project to create 200 positions over the next three years.
The microsatellite space launch company plans to solicit bids in January 2017 for the construction of the manufacturing facility at the Pima County Aerospace, Defense and Technology Business & Research Park.