Relativity wins direct contract for launch site at Cape Canaveral from the U.S. Air Force
(17 January 2019 - Relativity) Relativity today announced that it has been granted a Statement of Capability for its own rocket launch facilities at Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida by The 45th Space Wing of the United States Air Force.
The Statement of Capability signifies the U.S. Air Force’s formal acceptance of Relativity for launch operations in Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. This is the first and only direct agreement the U.S. Air Force has completed with a venture-backed orbital launch company at LC-16, and includes on-site vehicle integration and payload processing, with the opportunity to extend to an exclusive 20-year term. Relativity joins SpaceX, ULA, and Blue Origin as only the 4th company with a major operational orbital launch site at Cape Canaveral.
The LC-16 launch facility was historically used for Titan missile launches, the Apollo moon program, the Gemini program, and Pershing missile launches. Launch infrastructure is in limited supply, and LC-16 is one of the few major launch facilities still available at Cape Canaveral. LC-16 is capable of supporting Relativity’s rocket, Terran 1, the first and only fully 3D printed rocket in the world, as well as the company’s future expansions in payload capacity, and comes with substantial existing infrastructure and operational history. Additionally, Relativity has hired a team made up of former senior leadership personnel from top space companies, who have executed over 158 successful launches at Cape Canaveral. This combination will enable Relativity to more quickly build and operate a rocket launch facility.
“We are honored to win this significant support from the U.S. Air Force and join a select group of private space companies in conducting launches at Cape Canaveral,” says Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity. “Having the rare path toward an exclusive-use agreement at LC-16 ensures our satellite customers will have access to far more schedule certainty, and enables us to execute more frequent launches.”
“With LC-16’s historic and operational legacy of rocket launches and the experienced team we’ve built, we look forward to working with The 45th Space Wing of the U.S. Air Force to develop a modern launch facility that supports Terran 1 launch operations,” says Chris Newton, Principal Launch Engineer at Relativity.
“We were impressed with Relativity’s seasoned team and its innovative approach to space technology and we look forward to working with them as they continue the process to launch the Terran 1 vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,” stated Thomas Eye, Director of Plans & Programs for The 45th Space Wing of the U.S. Air Force.
Relativity is on track to conduct its first full orbital launch by the end of 2020, and continues to grow a customer manifest of both commercial and government payloads. This agreement further solidifies the company’s leadership in the industry and represents yet another public-private partnership milestone that the company has secured with the United States Government, adding to its portfolio of major infrastructure partnerships including a 20-year exclusive-use agreement at the NASA Stennis Space Center E4 test complex, and a NASA ACO test award.
Relativity is the first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellite constellations. The company’s vision is to build the future of humanity in space--starting with rockets. Relativity’s platform vertically integrates intelligent robotics and 3D autonomous manufacturing technology to build the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket, Terran 1. Terran 1 has 100x lower part count than traditional rockets, a radically simple supply chain, and is built from raw material to flight in less than 60 days with unparalleled iteration speed. Relativity deploys and resupplies satellite constellations with industry-defining lead time, flexibility, and cost, better connecting and securing our planet.
Relativity is backed by leading investors including Playground Global, Y Combinator, Social Capital, Phillip Spector formerly of Intelsat, and Mark Cuban.