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Evolution Space Closes Bridge Funding Round; Opens Production Facility at NASA Stennis

Updated: Jun 12

View of Mississippi landscape from NASA testing stand of the A-3 Tower
NASA Stennis A-3 Test Stand

STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss., October 10, 2023 – Evolution Space, a Mojave, Calif.-based solid propulsion and launch provider, announced today with NASA Stennis that it has signed an agreement and begun construction on the first-ever solid propulsion center and solid rocket motor testing at the historic NASA Stennis Space Center. The company also announced the close of its bridge funding round on the heels of multiple successful flight missions in April and May of this year, enabling the execution of the deal with Stennis.

Located near the iconic NASA test stands, the Evolution Space Propulsion Center will repurpose former Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant facilities acquired by NASA in 2011. The center is scheduled for active operations in Q2, 2024, and will host the company’s 200-gallon propellant mixer, provide propellant storage, and serve as an operational base for static fire testing using the E-3 Test Complex.

Evolution Space team at Stennis Space Center standing at the base of a test stand. (Left to Right: Eric McLinden, Steve Heller, Manny Ballestero)
Evolution Space Team at Stennis Space Center (Left to Right: Eric McLinden, Steve Heller, Manny Ballestero)

"By partnering with NASA, we are able to rapidly stand up a facility which will add

considerable capability to the U.S. solid rocket motor industrial base” said Manny Ballestero, U.S. Army Veteran and Evolution’s VP of Production and Development. “We look forward to the future of our partnership as we continue to expand our presence at Stennis."

The ability for efficient interfacing with Evolution's growing testing and flight operations in the Gulf region, in partnership with The Spaceport Company, factored heavily into the company's site selection process. The deal also doubles down on NASA's growing support of the private spaceflight sector.

“This is another great addition to South Mississippi’s commercial space engagement" said Dr. Rick Gilbrech, Director of NASA Stennis Space Center. "Evolution Space gains access to critical NASA Stennis infrastructure and expertise as it continues to build its propulsion capabilities. In turn, we continue frontline work with commercial companies as we support NASA’s commitment to increase access to space and grow our federal city. We look forward to working with Evolution Space."

The selection of South Mississippi was a personal one for Steve Heller, Evolution's Founder, CTO and Chief Executive Officer, who traces the very beginnings of the company back to his earliest propulsion work as a child in nearby Clarke County, Mississippi. “We’re stoked to be part of NASA’s mission to create jobs and fuel South Mississippi’s local economy, and selfishly the full-circle angle is a cool one for me," Heller said. “Mississippi is where my rocket journey started, and now we're back to kick things into high gear."


NASA Stennis in south Mississippi, the nation’s largest rocket propulsion test site and a growing aerospace and technology hub, has helped power American spaceflight since the mid-1960s.


Evolution Space, based in Mojave, Calif., is a provider ofrapidly-responsive solutions for the next generation ofprivate spaceflight and defense. For more information

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