A rendering of the Terran 1 rocket lifting off from Launch Complex 16. [credit:
Relativity Space ]
A company that aspires to 3D print almost the entirety of its rockets has reached an agreement with the US Air Force to launch from historic facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Relativity Space said Thursday it has a multiyear contract to build and operate its own rocket launch facilities at Launch Complex 16.
Under terms of the competitively awarded agreement, the site will officially be a “multiuser” facility for five years. However, if Relativity meets certain milestones and begins regularly launching rockets, it will be able to convert the agreement into a 20-year, exclusive right to use the launch site.
Relativity has been searching for a launch site almost since the company’s inception in 2015, said co-founder Tim Ellis. However, the formal search has taken about eight months, he said. “This was definitely our top choice, I would say by quite a bit,” he said. “We looked at every launch site in the United States.”