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Port of Everett Welcomes Off Planet Research, First Tenant to Port's New Maritime, Exploration and Innovation Complex

Date: Apr 19, 2021

A new lease signed with Off Planet Research, LLC seeds the Port of Everett’s future maritime, exploration and innovation-focused Center of Excellence. The company will occupy 2,156 square feet of the former Ameron pole manufacturing site situated between 10th and 13th Streets along West Marine View Drive.

Off Planet Research (OPR) creates manufactured soils and ice to emulate extra-terrestrial planets, and provides a laboratory testing environment and materials to ensure equipment durability despite abrasive lunar dust.

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OPR will open here in May, kicking off the Port’s vision for the 8-acre former brownfield site to become a new job center focused on the blue economies, including ocean and space economies.

"OPR is excited to be making the move to the Port of Everett," said Melissa Roth, OPR co-owner and lead researcher. "We are looking forward to meeting and working with local companies, including those outside the traditional space and aerospace sector.”

Local manufacturers may find a market in the burgeoning space exploration field. Companies that adapt products for the moon’s unforgiving dust will be well positioned for the space frontier.

“In order to have a sustaining presence in space, there will need to be an infrastructure set up with support across the medical, construction, manufacturing, and agricultural industries to name a few,” Roth adds. “These upcoming needs can provide opportunities for companies to enter the industry utilizing and adapting their skills for a new environment. We like to say that there are a whole lot of space companies out there, they just don’t know it yet.”

The Port’s aim for the former Ameron footprint is to repurpose the industrial site to support industries of the future at its new Maritime, Exploration and Innovation Complex (MEIC). The Complex is focused on ocean and space exploration, with a maritime education and job training component. OPR is the first tenant at the MEIC. OceanGate, located adjacent to the Complex in the Port’s Craftsman District, manufactures and tests new carbon fiber pressure vessels and also holds a NASA contract, as does OPR.

“OPR’s decision to locate in our emerging Maritime, Exploration and Innovation Complex marks the start of an exciting new chapter for the Port of Everett and Snohomish County,” Port of Everett CEO Lisa Lefeber said. “We are thrilled that OPR’s work creates new synergies with local instrumentation developers and offers diversity to the local economy and new job opportunities for the county’s large advanced manufacturing workforce.”

Snohomish County’s workforce is 23-percent manufacturing – twice the state’s average – with a high concentration in aerospace, creating a disproportionate impact in our region from the pandemic. The Port is actively pursuing additional tenants to fill its MEIC to help grow new and existing manufacturers, as well as to support economic recovery, jobs and the diversification of industry in Everett.

The Port’s new MEIC is expected to house up to five mid-sized businesses in industries supporting manufacturing, job training, ocean research, space exploration, and Department of Defense. At full build out, the MEIC is expected to create 293 new jobs on site and support another 250 induced and indirect jobs off-site. As many as 1,200 people will receive on-site training annually.

For additional information, contact Catherine Soper, Public Affairs Manager, at 425-388-0680 or by e-mail at


About Off Planet Research:
Off Planet Research (OPR) is a space company founded by local engineers Vince Roux and Melissa Roth in 2015. They strive to enable a meaningful, enduring human presence beyond Earth orbit by helping organizations learn how to live and work on the Moon and other worlds safely and productively. In order to facilitate this goal, they produce high quality simulants (test materials) that emulate the regolith and ices on the Moon and other planetary bodies. In addition to producing simulants, they design, adapt, and test components and processes for inclusion in future lunar and off-world missions. These resources dramatically increase mission assurance, cost effectiveness, and speed of development of safe and effective space-based technologies.

With R&D grants from NASA and NSF, OPR is expanding their products and services to include their first landed hardware and testing materials specific to the icy regions of the Moon where future missions are heading.

OPR works with clients across the world, supplying simulants and services to more than ten countries. Surviving and thriving in space truly requires domestic and international collaboration with government agencies, private industry, and research institutions.