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Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Relativity Raises $650 Million for Large Reusable Rocket

Long Beach-based Relativity Space Inc. has raised $650 million in Series E funding to support development of the large, 3D-printed Terran R rocket.
The latest round of funding, which was led by Boston-based investment manager Fidelity Management and Research Co., gives Relativity total funding of $1.3 billion.

Series E participation also came from London-based Centricus Asset Management, Menlo Park-based Tribe Capital Management, New York-based Soroban Capital Partners and Tiger Global Management, as well as Mark Cuban and Jared Leto.

Relativity Space said in its June 8 announcement that it would use the latest funding infusion to accelerate development of Terran R and released new details about the launch vehicle, which it described as a 216-foot-tall, 16-foot-diameter two-stage rocket with a 5-meter payload fairing.

The company said the entirety of Terran R will be reusable, including its engines, first stage, second stage and payload fairing. Relativity’s goal is to put Terran R into flight in 2024.

It will be 3D printed with the same machinery used to create the Terran 1, the compact rocket the company designed to deploy small satellites. But Terran R will have the capability to launch payloads 20 times larger than Terran 1.

“There’s an organic relationship between 3D printing and reusability, and it gives us an unparalleled advantage to design the best fully reusable rocket possible,” said Tim Ellis, the company’s chief executive.

The rocket’s seven Aeon R rocket engines, which are scaled, high-pressure versions of those in Terran 1, will be capable of launching 302,000 pounds each. The rocket will be designed to carry more than 20,000 kilograms to low-Earth orbit.

The goal of Terran R is to eventually offer a “point-to-point space freighter” capable of missions to the moon and Mars, according to Relativity.

“Over the last year, we found ourselves being asked by the market to accelerate development of our larger launch vehicle, so we knew it was time to double down on our existing plans and scale the Terran R program even faster and build production capabilities at scale sooner,” Ellis said.  

Relativity aims to launch its Terran 1 for the first time later this year from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station Launch Complex-16 in Florida. 


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