Relativity Space leases NASA's...


Relativity Space leases NASA's A-2 Test Stand for Terran R rocket development

NASA’s Relativity
The Silicon Review
08 September, 2023

A-2 stands for testing Saturn V engines that have been unused for 10 years.

Relativity Space, a Californian aerospace company, is expanding its investment at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi to advance the development of Terran R, its medium-to-heavy lift rocket. The company has leased the A-2 Test Stand from NASA for a seven-year period, paying $2.76 million for the lease. It has the option to renew the lease for up to 10 additional years. A-2 stands for testing Saturn V engines that have been unused for 10 years. Relativity Space will modernize and adapt the A-2 Test Stand to support thrusts of over 3.3 million pounds with its undisclosed capital investment. The leased test stand, together with the E2 and E4 engine testing complexes already leased from NASA, will allow the company to increase testing cadence and shorten time to market.

The A-2 stand has been a milestone testing ground for numerous NASA programs during its almost 60-year history. Relativity plans to use the stand for advanced first-stage testing of its Terran R rocket starting in 2026 and invest $267 million of its own money into the Stennis Center by 2027.This agreement highlights the increasing role commercial aerospace companies are taking as the US government encourages collaboration between private companies with smaller NASA budgets. Relativity Space expects that Terran R will accelerate new missions to low-Earth orbit and beyond. "We’re excited and honored to contribute to revitalizing historic aerospace infrastructure at NASA Stennis, which we believe will advance our collective future in space," said Tim Ellis, CEO, Relativity Space.