Relativity Space has announced that Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) has signed a launch contract to deliver satellites to orbit, the company said.
The contract includes flexible timing for up to six dedicated launches to deploy Iridium´s ground spare satellites to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The launches will take place on an as-needed basis, determined by Iridium and utilizing Relativity´s Terran 1, the world´s first 3D printed launch vehicle. Launches are planned for no earlier than 2023.
The second-generation Iridium constellation was completed in January 2019 and consists of 66 operational satellites and 9 in-orbit spares. An additional six satellites were manufactured as ground spares and remain in storage. Should the need arise to launch a ground spare, Relativity´s Terran 1 offers a cost-effective, efficient response time option for Iridium to quickly deploy a satellite to one of its six orbital planes. Relativity´s disruptive large-scale robotic 3D printing technology enables launches within months, instead of years.
On June 24, 2020, Relativity also announced a Right of Entry Agreement with the United States Air Force, 30th Space Wing, for development of rocket launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base. These launch site facilities will support flights to the polar orbits needed for the Iridium satellite constellation.
Relativity continues to grow its customer manifest and public-private partnerships. This agreement is the fifth announced launch customer for Relativity, and the first to take advantage of the company´s recently announced Right of Entry at Vandenberg Air Force Base. A potential launch site at Vandenberg is Relativity´s latest addition to its portfolio of major infrastructure partnerships, which also include a launch site Right of Entry at Cape Canaveral Launch Complex-16 and an exclusive-use Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) agreement for NASA test sites E4 and E2 at the NASA Stennis Space Center.
Relativity is the first autonomous rocket factory and launch services leader for satellite payloads. The company´s vision is to expand the possibilities for human experience by building the future of humanity in space, faster — starting with rockets. For more information, visit https://www.relativityspace.com/.
Iridium® is the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe. Iridium enables connections between people, organizations and assets to and from anywhere, in real time. For more information about Iridium products, services and partner solutions, visit www.iridium.com.