Relativity Space Closes $140 Million in Series C Funding, Led by Bond and Tribe Capital

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Relativity Space is making headway with its 3D printed rockets. As they continue on their path to build the world’s most unique factory and satellite launch service, Relativity Space announces closing of a $140 million Series C funding round led by Bond and Tribe Capital.

This new round of funding will allow them to make history as the first company ever to launch a rocket that is 3D printed into orbit, and begin commercial service by 2021.

“We’re thrilled to invest behind Relativity’s world class team, and join a broader group of investors, customers, and government partners that share our enthusiasm for the company’s bold vision to reimagine rocket development,” said Noah Knauf, a Cofounder and General Partner at Bond.

“We believe the Stargate factory is a template for the future of aerospace manufacturing and provides Relativity’s commercial customers, and eventually humanity, a faster, more reliable, and lower cost way to shuttle important resources from earth to outer space.”

With participation by current investors Playground Global, Y Combinator, Social Capital, and Mark Cuban, this Series C round included new investors also:

  • Lee Fixel
  • Michael Ovitz
  • Spencer Rascoff
  • Republic Labs
  • Jared Leto (Perhaps he wants to make Thirty Seconds to Mars a reality)

“Relativity was founded with the long-term vision of 3D printing the first rocket made on Mars and expanding the possibilities for human experience in our lifetime. With the close of our Series C funding, we are now one step closer to that vision by being fully funded to launch Terran 1 to orbit as the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket,” said Tim Ellis, Cofounder and CEO of Relativity Space. “Bond and Tribe are unrivaled partners in leading this funding round, and we are excited to build this important future together with our entire team.”

The Stargate factory, currently in development, will be the first of its kind within the aerospace industry to combine:

  • Machine learning
  • Software
  • Robots
  • Metal 3D printing

Within these ambitious aerospace adventures, Relativity is planning to reinvent the rocket as we know it, along with transforming the manufacturing value chain after 60 years of conventional aerospace practices. Rockets can be built and launched in just days rather than years and feature a payload capacity of up to 1250 kg.

Relativity’s current Terran 1 rocket is rated as a 3-meter payload with twice the previous volume. It is extremely competitive for a rocket in its class, along with being flexible for satellite customers. Both the Terran 1 and the Stargate factory were designed and built in the US.

“We are excited to complete the development of Terran 1, providing an entirely new value chain for our customers. As we build Terran 1 we will continue to expand the Stargate factory, achieving another milestone towards our long term vision,“ said Jordan Noone, Cofounder and CTO of Relativity Space.

After their Series B fundraising round ended in March, raising $35 million, the innovative rocket company has surpassed numerous milestones, putting them further on track for the projected commercial service in 2021. Since, capacity at Stargate has increased exponentially, and several new Stargate 3D printers have been created with better scalability and adaptability, and optimized controls and software.

“Among the technology milestones achieved are building fully printed first and second stage structures, printing and assembling a second stage, successful and intentional burst testing of Stargate printed stage structures to demonstrate ability to hold pressure, completion of first turbopump tests, completion of more than 200 engine hotfire tests at NASA Stennis Space Center, completion of the avionics architecture and hardware testing, and completion of the Terran 1 vehicle system design and coupled loads analysis,” states the Relativity team in a recent press release shared with 3DPrint.com.

Relativity has continued to expand their partnership with the U.S. Government also, acting as the venture-backed company securing a launch site at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex-16 from the U.S. Air Force. They have also taken on a 20-year, exclusive-use Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) agreement that will include five NASA test sites—to include their 20-year lease of a factory at NASA Stennis Space Center. The company also plans to secure a new launch site by the end of this year that is polar and Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO) capable.

They have also signed customer contracts 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
  • Spaceflight Industries, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, to launch Spaceflight’s dedicated smallsat rideshares
  • Momentus, the provider of in-space shuttle services, to launch Momentus’ small and medium satellite customers to GEO.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: Relativity Space]

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