A particular rocket printer company called Relativity Space is now raising a hopeful $500 million D round. The company is said to have a valuation of a whopping $2.3 billion as previously reported by CNBC and also confirmed by TechCrunch through sources that are very familiar with the given matter.
Relativity Space has a valuation of $2.3 billion
The $2.3 billion valuation is accepted despite the company not even having a single payload into orbit. Relativity Space is said to aim at drastically reducing the cost as well as increasing the overall speed of being able to assemble a launch vehicle through the use of 3D printing all the way from its tip to the tail fin.
This process has already proven to be advantageous and the company is optimistically looking at being able to have its very first launch by the year 2021, according to TechCrunch. The company's previous huge raise was at $140 million back in 2019, which allowed them to be able to build out a brand new Long Beach headquarters as well as finalize the said Terran-1 rocket.
Will 3D printing be able to beat SpaceX's efficiency?
The complete switch from using a series of machines as well as complete assembly lines with the fixed tooling towards a handful of enormous custom 3D printers is said to both simplify the entire building process as well as enable new capabilities.
As an example, Relativity Space was recently able to snag its very first big government contract said to be a NASA-Lockheed mission with the entire special consideration for the whole cryogenic systems in the given payload. These can eventually be revised as well as tested right up to about a couple of months before its official launch, quite unlike the ordinary building process which is said to potentially require the hardware to be completely locked in about a year or even more before.
The current $500 million round is said to presumably be able to help the company scale its operations in earnest, gather the necessary materials, personnel, transportation, insurance, as well as other huge necessities for being able to take on major missions in the future. The Terran-1 has not yet flown, but the projected cost as well as cadences actually make it a very attractive option.
Terran-1: cheaper than Rocket Lab's Electron & SpaceX's Falcon 9?
The Terran-1 is said to be larger than the given Rocket Lab's Electron but still smaller than the given SpaceX Falcon 9. It was also stated that the Terran-1 rocket could also even be more cost effective compared to the two of those rockets. A lot still depends on what would happen next year as Relativity Space still takes Terran-1 from the given factory to the actual launchpad.
The first orbit is scheduled for some time late 2021 and according to CNBC's Michael Sheetz, the Tiger Global Management will actually lead the whole round, with Fidelity also joining the pool of existing investors by adding their support.
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo