June 9, 2021

SPACE: Relativity Space raises $650 million round, announces Terran R rocket. “Relativity Space announced June 8 it has raised $650 million in a new funding round to support development of a fully reusable launch vehicle far larger than its original Terran 1 rocket. Relativity said Fidelity led its Series E round with participation from new investors BlackRock, Centricus, Coatue and Soroban Capital. Existing investors also contributed to the round, including Ballie Gifford, K5 Global, Tiger Global, Tribe Capital, XN and a number of individuals. The company did not disclose its valuation after the round, but an industry source familiar with the deal estimated it at $4.2 billion. . . . Terran R is designed to carry payloads in excess of 20,000 kilograms into low Earth orbit.”

Plus: “Relativity is the latest in a line of companies that entered the launch market with small vehicles but are now moving to larger ones. Rocket Lab announced in March its plans to build Neutron, a medium-class vehicle capable of placing 8,000 kilograms into low Earth orbit. Firefly Aerospace, whose Alpha rocket is nearing its first launch, is working on a larger vehicle, called Beta.”

I love what SpaceX is doing, but it’s good to have competition.

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