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U.S. DoD contracts Relativity’s 3D-printed Terran rocket

Terran 1. Image: Relativity

Paris, 16 March 2021. – Launch number nine: The rocket designer Relativity Space won its first orbital launch contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), the Californian company announced.

The DoD was looking for a “low-cost, responsive access to space”, using launch systems with a capacity between 450-1,200 kg to low-Earth orbit (LEO), Relativity said, and its entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle, Terran 1, “meets the DoD’s needs for disruptive launch solutions to orbit”.

The 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), Relativity said.

DIU works to strengthen America’s national security by accelerating the adoption of leading commercial technology and giving innovative American businesses the opportunity to solve high-impact national security problems, Relativity said.

“This mission aligns with Relativity’s ambitions to revolutionize how rockets are designed, built, and flown with the world’s first entirely 3D-printed rocket.”

The agreement represents the ninth announced launch customer for Relativity and the third announced government customer, following the recently announced Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 contract with NASA.

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