NASA has selected Relativity Space to place CubeSats into low Earth orbit. This marks the second publicly announced U.S. Government launch contract for Relativity for launch services. The launch will take place by June 30, 2022 from Relativity's orbital launch site at Cape Canaveral LC-16.
“NASA’s efforts to expand launch options are vital for the future growth of space access. We appreciate NASA’s selection of our 3D printing approach for our launch vehicle, Terran 1,” said Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder, Relativity Space.
Relativity Space's common appeal is their use of 3D printers, artificial intelligence and autonomous robotics. The company aims to take less than 60 days to construct and launch rockets with 100x fewer parts and a radically simplified supply chain. The company says their software-defined approach results in significantly higher reliability by automation and risk reduction at every level of design, testing and construction. The factory, its launch vehicle Terran 1, and the engine Aeon 1 are all fully designed, constructed, funded and operated in the USA.
The eighth announced launch customer of Relativity and the second government contract of the company announced in public after the award of Relativity as launch partner for the NASA Tipping Point Mission of Lockheed Martin. The company announced in November this year its $500M Series D financing to speed up its sales, scaling production and long-term development. This milestone in funding has followed important technological, commercial, infrastructural and team momentum as Relativity continues to pioneer an inevitable transition to software-modeled aerospace travel.
Relativity Space states their vision as "We believe in a future where interplanetary life fundamentally expands the possibilities for human experience. Our long-term vision is to upgrade humanity’s industrial base on Earth and on Mars."