Compass Precision Operating Company Supports Space Exploration

Oldsmar, FL – June 1, 2022 – R&D Machine, LLC, an Oldsmar, FL-based manufacturer of custom, close-tolerance metal parts for mission critical applications, has been informed by a long-standing customer that a component made for this customer is performing its job on Mars.

The component is employed on NASA’s InSight Mars lander that successfully landed on the red planet’s surface in 2018 and has since been used to study the deep interior of the Martian planet. Scientists hope that this Mars mission will assist in helping to understand the formation and early evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth.

“The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport [InSight] lander itself is unique because it has a seismometer to detect what are termed ‘Marsquakes’ and a heat probe to get a better understanding of the core,” explained Dale Howell, InSight’s Guidance, Navigation, and Control Lead at Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the Mars lander.

“We were astonished to learn that we made a component being used on Mars,” said Justin Kovscek, R&D Machine’s Vice President & General Manager. “All of us at R&D Machine are proud to play a small part in our country’s exploration of Mars.”

R&D Machine’s new owners are equally excited to participate in space exploration.

“We acquired R&D Machine in April from its previous owners Hilary and Carl Whitley because we believed it had differentiated and unique capabilities for manufacturing precision, mission critical parts,” explained Jim Miller, Compass Precision Vice President of Sales. “There isn’t anything more “mission critical” than needing to perform on Mars.”

Like Compass’s five other operating companies, R&D Machine operates autonomously and manufactures precision components for blue chip customers in aerospace, defense, and space markets as well as other industries like medical, telecommunications, industrial automation, and power generation that have similar demanding requirements. The Compass operating model has proven highly effective in integrating and supporting geographically dispersed operating units.

Main Street Capital Holdings, LLC, a Pittsburgh-based private equity firm, purchased Advanced Machining & Tooling, LLC, Quality Products & Machine, LLC, and Tri-Tec Industries, LLC in October 2019 and officially formed Compass Precision, LLC as the parent company shortly thereafter. Compass and its original three operating companies are located in and around Charlotte.

In August 2020, Compass added Gray Manufacturing Technologies, LLC in Denver, NC as its first add-on acquisition. Seven months later, Douglas Machining Services, LLC of Winona, MN became Compass’s second add-on acquisition in March 2021. Then in April 2022, Compass acquired R&D Machine, bringing its portfolio of high-performancing CNC machine shops to six.

For more information about Compass Precision, please contact David Wyscaver, Compass’s Communications Manager at