LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (SMC PR) — The U.S. Space Force’s Rocket Systems Launch Program Office, part of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s (SMC) Launch Enterprise at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, announced the award of the first on ramp of the Orbital Services Program (OSP)-4 Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract Aug. 9, 2021, to ABL Space Systems Corp, Astra Space, Inc., and Relativity Space, Inc.
OSP-4 allows for the rapid acquisition of launch services to meet mission requirements for payloads greater than 400 pounds, enabling launch to any orbit within 12-24 months from task order award. The RSLP will compete each mission among the IDIQ awardees. The addition of these emerging providers’ preserves, stimulates, and enhances the small launch industrial base and yields the Space Force a diverse vendor pool in support of the nation’s defense.
LONG BEACH, Calif., June 8, 2021 (Relativity Space PR) – Relativity Space, the first company to 3D print an entire rocket and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, today announced it closed a $650 million Series E equity funding round. The round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with participation from investors including Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Centricus, Coatue, K5 Global, Soroban Capital, Tiger Global, Tribe Capital, XN, Brad Buss, Mark Cuban, Jared Leto, and Spencer Rascoff, among others. Following the announcement of its fully reusable, entirely 3D printed rocket, Terran R, the company’s latest round of funding enables the scaling of the Terran R program and long-term infrastructure development.
NASA has selected Relativity Space for that a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award that will allow the company to continue developing a suite of sensors capable of real-time detection of flaws in 3D printing.
“At this time, we do not perform automatic, real-time defect detection, but the company has developed significant elements that when integrated together demonstrate the capability for real-time in-situ flaw detection. We use sensors and cameras to collect data on multi-dimension time series; real-time processing elements to review camera and time series data; and closed-feedback loops to modify print deposition parameters,” the company said in the project summary.
Relativity Space, which is 3D printing its launch vehicle, said the suite of sensors will have a variety of uses both on Earth and in space.
LOS ANGELES (Relativity Space PR) — Relativity Space announced today that it has been awarded its first orbital launch contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). This contract was awarded as a Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Launch Enterprise follow-up effort to the DoD Space Test Program (STP) Rapid Agile Launch Initiative (RALI) to identify capable commercial solutions for low-cost, responsive access to space “as a service” using launch systems with capacity between 450-1,200 kg to low-Earth orbit (LEO). Relativity’s entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle, Terran 1, meets the DoD’s needs for disruptive launch solutions to orbit.
Note: Story updated with information about ABL Space Systems’ RS1 booster.
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
Rocket Lab’s announcement that it is developing the medium-lift Neutron rocket focused on launching satellite constellations was an inevitable consequence of SpaceX getting into the rideshare business.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP) has awarded multiple Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 (VCLS Demo 2) contracts to launch small satellites (SmallSats) to space, including CubeSats, microsats or nanosatellites. The three companies selected to provide these commercial launch capabilities, and the value of their firm fixed-price contracts, are:
Astra Space Inc. of Alameda, California: $3.9 million
Relativity Space Inc. of Long Beach, California: $3.0 million
Firefly Black LLC of Cedar Park, Texas: $9.8 million
Relativity Space and TriSept Sign Launch Services Agreement (LSA) for a Dedicated Rideshare Manifest Focused on Providing Access to Space for Large and Small Satellite Payload Missions
LOS ANGELES & CHANTILLY, Va. ()–Supporting a rideshare manifest with a mix of small and large satellites, TriSept Corporation has selected Relativity Space for a full mission aboard Relativity’s Terran 1, the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket.
Under the signed agreement, TriSept has secured a full mission on Terran 1 as early as 2022. The launch will take place from one of Relativity’s launch sites at Cape Canaveral or Vandenberg Air Force Base.
LOS ANGELES, November 23, 2020 (Relativity Space PR — Relativity Space, the first company to 3D print an entire rocket and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, today announced it closed a $500 million Series D equity funding round.
The round was led by Tiger Global Management with participation from new investors Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, Baillie Gifford, ICONIQ Capital, General Catalyst, XN, Senator Investment Group, and Elad Gil. Existing investors participating in the round include BOND, Tribe Capital, K5 Global, 3L, Playground Global, Mark Cuban, Spencer Rascoff, and Allen & Company LLC, among others.
BETHESDA, Md. (Lockheed Martin PR) — On Oct. 14, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced a $370 million investment with 14 U.S. partners that will demonstrate and mature space technologies to help forge a path to sustainable Artemis operations on the Moon.
As a recipient of an $89.7 million contract from this Tipping Point solicitation, Lockheed Martin will complete an in-space demonstration mission using liquid hydrogen — the most challenging of the cryogenic propellants. This allows us and our partners to test more than one dozen cryogenic fluid management technologies over the next five years.
LOS ANGELES (Relativity Space PR) — Relativity Space, the world’s first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellites, today announced the appointment of Caryn Schenewerk as vice president, regulatory and government affairs, effective July 15, 2020.
In this role, Ms. Schenewerk will be a key member of the Executive Leadership Team, responsible for the development and execution of Relativity Space’s federal, state, and local government strategy. She will increase Relativity’s visibility, lead the company’s participation in industry associations and expand Relativity’s relationships with key government agencies.
Relativity’s 3D printed Terran 1 launch vehicle offers dedicated missions for Iridium ground spare satellite deployments
LOS ANGELES, June 24, 2020 (Relativity Space PR) — Relativity Space today announced that Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) has signed a launch contract to deliver satellites to orbit.
The contract includes flexible timing for up to six dedicated launches to deploy Iridium’s ground spare satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The launches will take place on an as-needed basis, determined by Iridium and utilizing Relativity’s Terran 1, the world’s first 3D printed launch vehicle. Launches are planned for no earlier than 2023.
VANDENBERG, Calif. (Relativity Space PR)–Relativity Space, the first company to utilize 3D printing, robotics and AI to reinvent aerospace manufacturing, extended its launch capabilities via a Right of Entry Agreement with the United States Air Force, 30th Space Wing for development of rocket launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
One of the lesser known aspects of SpaceX’s rise to the top of the space industry is how the company has seeded other companies with experienced personnel.
Throughout its existence, SpaceX has had fairly high employee turnover. People work at Elon Musk’s company and move on for reasons ranging from being fired or laid off to getting burned out from long hours to becoming frustrated over relatively low pay to simply wanting to do something else.