Spokane Journal of Business

Hi-Rel Laboratories helps with NASA’s Artemis launch

Company provides component testing for deep space flights

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-—Hi-Rel Laboratories
Cedric Devaney, left, and his brother, Trevor, own Hi-Rel Laboratories, which is working on a number of projects related to NASA missions.

Spokane-based Hi-Rel Laboratories Inc., an electronic testing company, is one of 42 companies in Washington state working to support NASA’s Artemis program, says company President Trevor Devaney.

The Artemis program’s goal is to return people to the moon in NASA’s Orion spacecraft using a Space Launch System rocket that also is expected to support the eventual human exploration of Mars.

NASA’s recent launch of Artemis I is the first uncrewed test flight for the project. 

Hi-Rel Labs is one of 14 Washington state companies providing support for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, and one of 16 companies in the state supplying NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. 

Devaney, who operates Hi-Rel Labs with his brother and vice president, Cedric Devaney, says the company is providing materials evaluations on internal components of the Orion spacecraft and for the Space Launch System rocket.

“On the inside, the guts, the electronics, the things that make it work, that’s where we’re at. If you look at the Artemis spacecraft and looked at the Orion itself, we’re all over the avionics for that, including the life support, guidance, navigation, and we’re on the propulsion.”

Devaney says Hi-Rel deconstructs devices to look for flaws that have either caused failures prior to launch or may cause failures in their mission over time.

“If they have defects in construction, they won’t function well long-term in space,” says Devaney. “We have a lot of microscopes and expertise in deconstructing electronic components and internal connections.”

Located at 6116 N. Freya, in north Spokane, the company has 53 employees, which he says is up slightly from previous years.  

NASA subcontractors, including Boeing Co., Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc., and Honeywell Aerospace rely on Hi-Rel Labs for its tests, Devaney says.

“That’s how we’re involved in just about every space program, and some Japanese and some European (space programs) as well,” he claims. “We’ve been on just about every NASA program going back to the 1970s.”

Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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