Friday, March 23, 2018

Relativity, SSC sign new agreement

NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC) and Los Angeles-based Relativity, a startup company developing small launch vehicles using additive manufacturing technologies, have entered an agreement that authorizes the startup to use one of SSC's test stands exclusively. The Commercial Space Launch Act agreement grants the exclusive use of the E-4 Test Complex to Relativity for 20 years. The complex features four cells for engine tests and 15,000 square feet of office space, with the option to expand the use of the facility from about 25 acres to 250 acres. The new agreement will help Relativity expand its test efforts, which include the qualification and acceptance tests of up to 36 of the company's Terran small launch vehicles. Relativity is under a separate Reimbursable Space Act agreement with SSC for the use of the center's E-3 test stand, which has supported 85 tests of the firm's Aeon 1 engine to date. Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Relativity, said the startup will continue using E-3 while it builds up E-4, then use both facilities in parallel in the future. Relativity's Terran rocket. Ellis said the company will develop a single manufacturing facility that would allow it to produce the Terran rocket, but the company hasn’t decided where that facility will be located. (Source: SpaceNews, 03/21/18, ExecutiveBiz, 03/22/18) Previous: Relativity Space using SSC; NASA: E-4 a "great opportunity"