Rocket specialist surges ahead after touching down at new home

02/04/24 | Tenant News

A new home has provided a launching pad for further growth at a long-established Westcott business specialising in spacecraft rocket engine and propulsion systems manufacturing and testing.

Nammo relocated across the Park to a new UK HQ at Building 6040 where it has undertaken an extensive fit-out to incorporate a clean room almost four times the size of the old facility, a larger manufacturing area and offices including conference rooms.

Adam Watts, Business and Strategic Development Manager of Nammo Space, said: “Our new facility enables us to take on more complete propulsion systems work which we were not able to do before.

“It also means we can create more jobs to meet ongoing business growth and can combine all resources into one building which is much more efficient.”

Since moving at the end of last year, Nammo has already made some ground breaking achievements including:

  • The activation of its first ever chemical propulsion system supplied to Astroscale for the ADRAS-J mission which was launched 18th February from New Zealand aboard a Rocket Lab launcher and is a debris inspection demonstration satellite which will pave the way to future space debris removal missions. ADRAS-J is currently on its way to the rendezvous point with a Japanese H2A upper stage rocket body.
  • Seeing its LEROS 1c Apogee Engine fired on NASA’s Lucy spacecraft for the first time in February, a huge milestone for the team. Lucy’s mission is to explore the Trojan asteroids which are believed to hold many clues as to the origin of our solar system.
  • Successfully completing a hot fire test campaign for the LEROS 4 high thrust main engine to be used on Firefly Aerospace’s Blue Ghost Lunar Lander.

Other recent projects include:

  • Designing, building and testing a throttleable 7000+ Newton engine called RELIANCE for the Argonaut Lunar Lander, a joint European Space Agency and NASA large delivery spacecraft that will enable human expeditions to the Moon.
  • Providing the world’s first electronic pressure regulator for the Space Inspire spacecraft with Thales Alenia Space.

The UK operation currently employs 80 personnel across two sites and is recruiting for more positions as it continues to expand.

A few weeks ago, Nammo’s first ever graduate scheme was launched with an assessment day from which three individuals were selected and will join the company in September.

Nammo has almost finished planning its biggest ever stand at the Space Propulsion Conference which takes place in Glasgow from 20th-24th May where Rob Westcott – Enginering Manager and Elliott Worsely – Programme Manager will be delivering a keynote speech.

Headquartered in Norway, Nammo employs more than 2,700 staff across 28 sites in 12 countries supplying military and civilian customers.

Nammo UK was formed in 1946 as the Rocket Projectile Establishment under the Ministry of Supply at Westcott. By the mid-1990s it was a well-established rocket research and development site for solid, liquid and gaseous rocket engines.

For the last 30 years it has supplied LEROS engines, thrusters and fluidic valves for space missions to planets including Mercury, Mars, the Moon and Jupiter. It also occupies the J & F rocket testing sites at Westcott and manages the National Space Propulsion Test Facility on behalf of the UK Space Agency.

In addition, it provides critical engine technology for modern telecoms, global positioning systems and defence-based satellite applications.

More recently Nammo has become a propulsion subsystems designer and integrator adding pressure regulation systems and propulsion systems to its product lines.

Adam added: “Our business is expanding in all areas and there are already plans being drawn up to expand this facility to cope with further growth.”

Nigel MacKenzie, Development Manager at Westcott, said: “Nammo is the longest serving rocket company at Westcott with an impressive heritage and it is fantastic to see how it is continuing to grow so strongly.

“Westcott now provides a fertile environment for companies such as Nammo with the Space Cluster not only providing customers but a synergy of expertise to help it thrive.

“It is really encouraging to see it taking on apprentices and generating highly skilled job opportunities in Buckinghamshire.”

Anyone interested in working for Nammo can find current job openings on its LinkedIn page @NammoUK where you will be directed to contact ukrecruitment@nammo.com


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