Relativity Space Inc., which builds mostly 3D-printed rockets, has won a multiyear contract to launch Intelsat satellites using its future Terran R rocket, the company said on Wednesday.
(Bloomberg) — Relativity Space Inc., which builds mostly 3D-printed rockets, has won a multiyear contract to launch Intelsat satellites using its future Terran R rocket, the company said on Wednesday.
California-based Relativity declined to disclose the value of the contract but said it added to an overall backlog worth $1.8 billion over nine customers for Terran R, due to enter operation in 2026.
“It’s a really big validator,” Relativity Chief Executive Officer Tim Ellis told Bloomberg News, referring to the contract. “There has to be a second, quickly moving, disruptive, commercially focused launch company in the market that is not named SpaceX.”
In recent years, the demand has shifted toward medium- to heavy-lift launchers as customers focus on building out massive satellite mega-constellations similar to Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Starlink, which beams broadband internet to Earth.
Terran R can carry between 23,500 kilograms and 33,500 kilograms (51,809 pounds to 73,855 pounds) to low-Earth orbit. This is roughly on par with the capability of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
In March, Relativity launched its first mostly 3D-printed rocket, the Terran 1, on its debut flight, which successfully reached space but failed to make it to orbit. In April, the company announced that it planned to abandon future flights and development of Terran 1 and would focus solely on developing the larger Terran R.
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