Relativity raises $650m and prepares to ramp up production of Terran R launch vehicle

Relativity Space has announced a $650 million Series E equity funding round as it looks to scale the production of its fully reusable, 3D printed Terran R launch vehicle.

Terran R is around 20x larger than Relativity’s first rocket, Terran 1, and is capable of launching over 20,000kg to low Earth orbit in reusable configuration. It is to be produced using the same 3D printing technology and in the same factory as the Terran 1, with 200 additional team members set to be employed this year to help the production efforts.

Helping to fund the company’s next steps is a $650m sum raised by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, as well as Baillie Gifford, Centricus, Coatue, K5 Global, Soroban Capital, Tiger Global, Tribe Capital, Brad Buss, Mark Cuban, Jared Leto and more.

“From our founding days in Y Combinator just five years ago, we planned on 3D printing Terran 1 and then Terran R – a 20x larger fully reusable rocket – on our Factory of the Future platform,” commented Relativity co-founder and CEO Tim Ellis. “Today, we are one step closer to this goal. Together with our first rocket Terran 1, our second product, Terran R, will continue to take advantage of Relativity’s disruptive approach to 3D printing – reduced part count, improved speed of innovation, flexibility and reliability – to bring to market the next generation of launch vehicles.”

Terran R is a two-stage, 216-foot-tall rocket with a 16-foot diameter and a 5-metre payload fairing. It is fully reusable, including its seven 3D printed Aeon R engines, first stage, second stage and payload fairing. The seven Aeon R engines are scaled, high pressure versions of the Aeon 1 and are all capable of 302,000 lb. thrust, while there is an additional Aeon Vac engine in the upper stage.

In the production of the Terran R, which Relativity says will provide commercial and government customers affordable access to space, the company will deploy its proprietary 3D printing process and exotic 3D printing materials to tackle complex design geometries that are not possible with traditional manufacturing methods. Over the course of the last year, Relativity says it has been asked by the market to accelerate its development of Terran R, with its first anchor customer launch contract for the launch vehicle being signed recently.

“Terran R is at the cutting edge of rocket innovation and design,” offered Relativity SVP of Engineering and Manufacturing Zach Dunn. “Fully reusable and entirely 3D printed, Terran R will be well suited to serve customers’ evolving needs in the large satellite constellation industry, while also representing a significant leap towards achieving our mission of building humanity’s industrial base off of Earth.”

Terran R is set to launch from Relativity’s Cape Canaveral site in 2024, while the company has printed 85% of the first Terran 1 flight article, which is set to launch later this year.  

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