Vector Selects Construction Team, Begins First Orbital Vehicle Production

Flight test of P-19H engineering model of the Vector-R launch vehicle from Friends of Amateur Rocketry site in California. (Credit: Vector Space Systems)

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 6, 2017 (Vector PR) — Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced it has selected a final construction team to build its state-of-the-art launch vehicle manufacturing facility in Tucson, Ariz. Vector selected Holladay Properties as the lead developer on the project, Barker Contracting as the contractor, and architects from Swaim Associates LTD to carry out Vector’s vision for the new factory.

Over the last year, the City of Tucson, Pima County and the Arizona Commerce Authority led the facility development through a public-private partnership agreement to further the economic advancement of the Arizona technology and aerospace industry. Vector’s new facility, expected to be completed by early 2019, will bring 200 jobs to the Tucson area including jobs in engineering, manufacturing and technical support. The public-private partnership is expected to have an overall direct and indirect economic impact on the region totaling $290 million over the next five years.

“Vector is extremely proud to call Arizona home and we look forward to growing our foothold in the area with this brand-new manufacturing facility,” said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector.  “We’ve made huge strides in technical progress and vehicle production this year, ramping up to producing our goal of one hundred rockets per year. By building this new facility, we’re not only going to be adding jobs, but we will be providing many with the ability to launch careers in aerospace.”

Vector’s 92,500 square-foot factory will feature two soft-production facilities, a 30,750 square-foot two-story office space for its headquarters and a dedicated area for special projects including research and development.  The future facility is designed to produce 100 vehicles per year to start, with room to expand production across two additional manufacturing floors, increasing potential production to up to 200 vehicles per year. Vector has also begun production of its first orbital launch vehicle in its existing facilities, also in Ariz., continuing its progress towards achieving the company’s goal of a successful orbital launch in Q2 2018.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Vector to build their new home in Arizona,” said Brian Barker, President at Barker Contracting. “Vector’s vision for their manufacturing facility and headquarters was a natural fit for Barker Contracting’s expertise and we look forward to building a space designed specifically for their team.”

About Vector

Founded by the original founding team of SpaceX, Vector is a disruptive company that connects space startups and innovators with dedicated, affordable and reliable launch services, enabling platforms and vehicles to access space efficiently and in a more optimized way than ever before possible. For more information, visit http://www.vectorspacesystems.com/

  • Michael Halpern

    See this is why I think Vector will do better than companies like Relativity Space, they are focusing on the mass production potential of dedicated small satellite launchers, instead of just the low cost, if you have a cube sat and you want it in orbit quickly, this gives you that option, and on a per kg basis it isn’t too far off from F9 iirc.

  • One might also consider that their “successful” rocket launches have consisted of single stage, one engine, unguided amateur rockets to a few thousand feet with undocumented parachute landings. Hardly much for anyone other than venture capitalists to risk their money on. The economics of the so-called cheap rockets is unproven but assuming current prices for scientific cubesats free rides on NASA ElaNa, and competition from Japan, China and India, someone still must show that the commercial market really exists for mass production of small launchers. So far, big hype by Vector/Garvey for many years – but they’re not even close to orbit. And is there room for two if Rocket Lab is years ahead? Once RL has the rocket, scaling for mass production will be the easy part if the market demand is there. They have the better business model.