Credit: Relativity Space

October 11, 2023 – Long Beach, CA and McLean, VA – Relativity Space, the preeminent 3D printed rocket company, announced today that it has signed a multi-year, multi-launch Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with Intelsat, operator of the largest integrated space and terrestrial network in the world. Under the agreement, Relativity will launch Intelsat satellites on Terran R as early as 2026.  As a medium-to-heavy-lift, reusable launch vehicle made for growing satellite launch demand and eventually multiplanetary transport, Terran R provides both government and commercial customers affordable access to space, in LEO, MEO, GEO and beyond. Relativity has a total of nine signed customers for Terran R, including multiple launches and totaling more than $1.8 billion in backlog.   

“We are honored to be working with Intelsat to launch future spacecraft into their industry leading satellite fleet,” said Tim Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO of Relativity Space. “They have an incredible company and team as a world leader in content connectivity with nearly 60 satellites already in orbit. The space industry clearly requires more commercially competitive, diversified, and disruptive launch capacity. Relativity is developing Terran R as a customer-focused reusable launch vehicle to solve this need. We look forward to planning, executing, and successfully launching these missions together with Intelsat.”   

“After 60 years of commercial satellite launches, Intelsat and our customers have come to expect reliability, efficiency and flexibility from our launch providers,” said Jean-Luc Froeliger, Intelsat Senior Vice President of Space Systems. “Relativity has developed an innovative design and production process for the Terran R, which will deliver benefits to Intelsat for years to come.” Terran R was developed to accommodate the growing demand for large constellation launch services. With a payload fairing that offers the right market fit to meet a variety of needs, Terran R supports use cases from dedicated payload deployments of constellation customers or single geosynchronous satellites to rideshare configurations for multiple customers per launch. Putting customers first, Relativity is designing and manufacturing rockets that offer high performance and reliability, while costing less to produce and fly.  

Terran R is designed and manufactured at Relativity’s headquarters in Long Beach, CA, which is home to its fourth generation Stargate metal 3D printers. Stage and engine testing is conducted at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and Terran R will launch Intelsat missions from Space Launch Complex 16, Relativity’s orbital launch site at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. 

About Relativity Space   

Relativity Space is building humanity’s multiplanetary future. With a long-term vision to build an industrial base on Mars and upgrade the industrial base on Earth, we are enabling a future where interplanetary life fundamentally expands the possibilities for human experience.    

We invented a new approach to design, print, and fly our own rockets, starting with the world’s first 3D printed rocket, Terran 1, and Terran R, our large medium to heavy payload launch vehicle designed for reuse. Starting with these orbital class vehicles, Relativity is focused on offering a highly attractive launch service offering, by designing and manufacturing reusable rockets that offer high performance and reliability, while costing less to produce and fly.   As a vertically integrated technology platform, Relativity is at the forefront of an inevitable shift toward software-defined manufacturing. Founded on the premise that additive manufacturing, alongside artificial intelligence and autonomous robotics, will deliver eventual superiority over traditional aerospace manufacturing methods. Relativity is leveraging the best of 3D printing capabilities today, and expanding the potential for what 3D printing will make possible tomorrow. Relativity’s Stargate metal 3D printers enable rapid product iteration, unlocking significant improvements to product development and production.    

Relativity Space is an American aerospace company headquartered in Long Beach, CA with a presence at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL; NASA’s Stennis Space Center, MS; Seattle, WA; Vandenberg Space Force Base, CA; and Washington, D.C.

About Intelsat  

Intelsat’s global team of professionals is focused on providing seamless and secure, satellite-based communications to government, NGO and commercial customers through the company’s next-generation worldwide network and managed services. Bridging the digital divide by operating one of the world’s largest and most advanced satellite fleet and connectivity infrastructures, Intelsat enables people and their tools to speak over oceans, see across continents and listen through the skies to communicate, cooperate and coexist. Since its founding six decades ago, the company has been synonymous with satellite-industry “firsts” in service to its customers and the planet. Leaning on a legacy of innovation and focusing on addressing a new generation of challenges Intelsat team members now have their sights on the “next firsts” in space as they disrupt the field and lead in the digital transformation of the industry.

Source: Relativity Space

Kris Christiaens's Avatar

Kris Christiaens

This article was published by FutureSpaceFlight founder and chief editor Kris Christiaens. Kris Christiaens has been passionate and fascinated by spaceflight and space exploration all his life and has written hundreds of articles on space projects, the commercial space industry and space missions over the past 20 years for magazines, books and websites. In late 2021, he founded the website FutureSpaceFlight with the goal of promoting new space companies and commercial space projects and compiling news of these start-ups and companies on one website.