PARIS — Start-up smallsat 3D-printed commercial rocket builder Relativity Space closed a $140-million Series C financing round led by Bond and Tribe Capital, bringing total funding to $185.7 million.
The company said it is on track for a first commercial launch of its Terran 1 rocket, with a 3-meter-diameter fairing and a payload capacity of 1,250 kilograms to low Earth orbit, by 2021.
Other new investors in the Series C round include Michael Ovitz, Lee Fixel, Jared Leto and Republic Labs. Previous investors Playground Global, Y Combinator, Social Capital and Mark Cuban also participated in the round, Relativity said Oct. 1.
Relativity said it has completed more than 200 test firings of its rocket engines at NASA Stennis Space Center. Relativity said its goal is to build a full launch vehicle from raw materials less than 60 days.
The company has secured launch rights at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station with a 20-year exclusive-use contract to Launch Complex 16. In an Oct. 1 statement, Relativity said it would secure a launch site for polar and geosynchronous-orbit launches by the end of this year.
The company has already signed launch contracts with Telesat of Canada, an established satellite fleet operator that is designing a constellation of broadband connectivity satellites in low Earth orbit; and with mu Space of Thailand, a company with ambitions in GEO and LEO orbit that has not yet proved an ability to do either.
In addition, launch-service aggregator Spaceflight Industries has signed an agreement to launch ride-share payloads on Relativity as Spaceflight seeks to broaden its launch options. Momentus, a startup developer of a service to carry satellites from LEO to GEO orbit, has also signed on with Relativity.
Relativity said its rocket production facilities will expand from more than 280,000 square feet now to more than 480,000 square feet (44,595 square meters) by the end of the year.