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Space Startup Secures Funding For First 3D Printed Rocket Launch

Relativity's fleet of 3D rocket printers will turn out new rockets in only 60 days. Photo: Relativity Space
Relativity's fleet of 3D rocket printers will turn out new rockets in only 60 days. Photo: Relativity Space

A private space startup says it’s fully funded to launch a 3D printed rocket from Cape Canaveral in just two years.

Relativity space says it has closed a deal for $140 million in funding to launch its 3D printed rocket Terran 1 into space from its launch facility on the Space Coast.

The money from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Tribe Capital, will help build a 280-thousand square foot factory.

“It’s literally going to look like a field of robots in enclosures printing rocket pieces,” said CEO Tim Ellis. “Once the factory is fully built and operational we'll be able to go form literally raw material going into the door to a totally finished and acceptance tested rocket in less than 60 days.”

Relativity will launch its first rockets from Cape Canaveral's LC-16 in 2021. Ellis said the company is starting work on the pad, with an environmental assessment forthcoming. Relativity will also launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The company has also secured payload launches for four companies including communication company Intelsat and secured a long-term lease with NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi for test stands.

Relativity joins another small satellite launch company Firefly Aerospace in calling the space coast home.

Brendan Byrne is WMFE's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the WMFE newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing WMFE's internship program.

Byrne also hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.
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