Autonomous rocket developer Relativity Space Inc. announced May 6 it signed a launch services agreement with Seattle-based Spaceflight Industries Inc. to deliver satellites to low earth orbit on Inglewood-based Relativity’s entirely 3D-printed rocket, the Terran 1.
The contract includes a launch scheduled for third quarter 2021, with options for additional launches in the future. Spaceflight operates a “rideshare” approach to mission management, allowing several satellite operators to launch on one rocket at once to save energy and cost. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We consistently look for innovative new technologies that provide flexible, reliable, and low-cost access to space for our customers (and) Relativity’s autonomous platform and 3D-printed Terran 1 rocket delivers key advantages in launching rideshare payloads,” Spaceflight Chief Executive Curt Blake said in a statement.
Relativity secured a launch site at Cape Canaveral U.S. Air Force Base in Florida in January, a launch contract with Thai satellite company Mu Space, and won a contract to launch satellites for Canadian telecommunications firm Telesat in April.
Relativity investors include Mountain View-based startup accelerator Y Combinator and Palo Alto-based investment firm Social Capital. The company has raised $44.5 million since its 2016 incorporation according to industry tracker PitchBook Data Inc.
The company most recently raised a $35 million Series B round led by Palo Alto-based investor Playground Global finalized in March 2018. Santa Monica-based venture funder Wavemaker Partners participated in the round as a new investor.
Relativity is aiming for its first orbital test at the end of 2020 and to be commercially available for service by 2021.
Relativity Chief Executive Tim Ellis said in a statement, “we look forward to building the space economy together and supporting disruptive commercial and government payload missions.”
Tech reporter Samson Amore can be reached at email@example.com or (323) 556-8335. Follow him on Twitter @samsonamore.
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