Apr 5, 2019 | By Thomas

Relativity, the Los Angeles-based manufacturer fo 3D printed rockets, has signed its first public commercial contract with Telesat, the renowned global satellite operator, that allows Relativity to play a role in Telesat’s innovative LEO satellite constellation. Telesat will now have access to faster, more frequent and more flexible launches at the lowest cost using Relativity’s rocket manufacturing platform.

Relativity’s Terran 1 is the world’s first fully 3D printed rocket designed and built using Relativity’s proprietary 3D printing technology platform, is slated for the end of 2020. Relativity recently acquired the space in Cape Canaveral, Florida, to test-launch its Terran 1 rocket in 2020. If initial tests go to plan, the startup is looking at its first commercial launch in 2021.

This is the first time a major global satellite operator has selected a completely venture-backed aerospace startup for launch services in the emerging NewSpace industry. With its reinvention of the rocket-building process, Relativity is positioned to become a valued launch partner for Telesat’s LEO program. “It’s really a big vote of confidence in our team and our technology,” says Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis.

Ellis said the company will be able to charge $10 million for a 1,250-kilogram payload to low earth orbit -- about one-third the price of what its competitors charge. Relativity keeps costs low by relying on machine learning, software, robotics and metal 3D printing technology to optimize every aspect of the rocket manufacturing process. The company says that its Terran 1 rocket is built from raw material to launch-ready in less than 60 days, and has 100 times fewer parts than traditional rockets. Terran 1’s unique architecture can be rapidly changed and scaled as satellite companies develop new capabilities.

“Early in our LEO program we decided that, in addition to working with outstanding leaders in satellite manufacturing and launch services who we know well, Telesat should also include NewSpace companies whose technologies and manufacturing methods offer lower costs and greater flexibility for deploying our constellation,” said Dave Wendling, Telesat’s Chief Technical Officer. “Relativity is just such a company with their metal 3D printing, use of robotics and other advances. Telesat continues to establish a world-class supplier team to construct, deploy and operate our global LEO network and we are very pleased to welcome Relativity to the Telesat LEO program.”

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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