Relativity Space has signed a Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with Momentus, the provider of in-space shuttle services that move satellites between orbits, to launch Momentus’ small and medium satellite customers on Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket, the world’s first and only entirely 3D printed rocket. Momentus will then deliver their customers’ small and medium sized satellites to geosynchronous orbit (GEO) using the Momentus Vigoride Extended in-space shuttle service.
he agreement includes Momentus’ purchase of a first launch, scheduled for 2021, with options for five additional launches with Relativity. The agreement opens access to a more diverse range of orbits for Terran 1 including geostationary transfer orbit (GTO), Lunar and deep space orbits, lower inclinations, and phasing of multiple spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO) and medium Earth orbit (MEO). Small satellites will have access to even more flexible launch capabilities with Momentus-enabled missions combined with Terran 1’s class-leading features.
Along with the company’s accelerating leadership in launching medium payload class satellite constellations, this Launch Services Agreement with Momentus positions Relativity to launch a significant segment of the small satellite and microsat market. By combining Momentus’ innovative and sustainable in-space shuttle service capabilities with Relativity’s groundbreaking, autonomous 3D printing rocket factory, the companies will provide greater access, schedule flexibility, reliability, and lower cost, transforming the satellite launch market in LEO and beyond.
Both Momentus and Relativity are graduates of the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program and share a vision of building the future of humanity in space. Momentus recently announced a $25.5 million Series A financing, bringing the company’s total funding to $34 million. Momentus employs new and proprietary technology including water plasma propulsion for the mission of low-cost sustainable transportation through space. The company’s Vigoride orbital vehicle, which is designed and built in-house, is powered by proprietary water plasma propulsion to ferry satellites from one orbit to another.
Disrupting 60 years of global aerospace manufacturing, Relativity is developing the first and only aerospace factory to integrate machine learning, software, and robotics with metal 3D printing technology to build and launch rockets in days instead of years. Built from raw material to launch-ready in less than 60 days and with a payload capacity up to 1250 kg, Terran 1’s unique architecture is unparalleled in its flexibility to support Momentus’ customer launch capabilities as needed.
“With Momentus’ innovations in sustainable in-space ‘last mile’ solutions, we look forward to working together to expand Terran 1’s flexibility and offering beyond LEO, offering small and medium satellite launch opportunities with industry-defining lead time, flexibility, and cost,” said Tim Ellis, CEO and Cofounder of Relativity. “This partnership will enable us to build the space economy faster, and accelerate the future of humanity in space.”
“We are excited to announce an LSA partnership with Relativity for launch and shuttle services for small satellites to geosynchronous orbit (GEO), and to provide annual rideshare flights to GEO for satellites from 10kg up to 350kg,” said Mikhail Kokorich, CEO of Momentus. “Relativity’s advances in rocket manufacturing and launch combined with our proprietary orbital shuttle capabilities opens new opportunities for microsatellite revolution beyond low Earth orbit.”
Relativity is accelerating growth of a customer manifest including leading global satellite operators, commercial companies, and government payloads. Recently, the company announced customer agreements with Telesat, the renowned global satellite operator, to support their LEO constellation; mu Space, the innovative Thai satellite and space technology company, to launch their first LEO satellite; and Spaceflight Industries, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, to launch Spaceflight’s dedicated smallsat rideshares. Relativity is on track to enter commercial service in 2021.
Relativity increased infrastructure fourfold to over 280,000 square feet of operations, production, testing, and launch facilities and is on track to reach over 480,000 square feet of space in 2019. In the past year, the company increased team size 8x from 14 to 105 employees. Relativity became the first venture-backed company to secure a launch site Right of Entry at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex-16 from the U.S. Air Force, a 20-year exclusive-use Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) agreement for E4 test complex and a 9-year exclusive use lease for a 220,000 square feet factory at the NASA Stennis Space Center, as well as membership on the National Space Council advising the U.S. White House. Relativity is also securing a polar and Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) capable launch site this year.