The new lab facility is located at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico and is called Deployable Structures Laboratory (DeSel):
"I'm excited to have a facility that was specifically built for testing novel deployable space structures," the chief of the lab's Integrated Structural Systems team Benjamin Urioste announced Monday.
"With the push towards hybrid architecture and smaller satellites, high packing efficiency structures and the ability to bring large satellite capability to small satellites is more important than ever," Urioste added.
Further according to the press release:
"This new class of high strain composite enabled structures requires new ground test facilities," Urioste added. "Satellite deployments are nerve-wracking, one-shot endeavors and the high-fidelity ground testing that will take place in the DeSel is critical to ensuring on-orbit success."
Spacecraft Technologies Division chief Mark Roverse said the structures, made possible by high strain composites, "will enable new mission paradigms for the U.S. Space Force."
US rival powers like Russia have recently accused Washington of seeking to "weaponize the moon" and triggering a space arms race.