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Relativity Seeks to Disrupt Smallsat Launch Industry

17 Jul 2017, 07:43 UTC
Relativity Seeks to Disrupt Smallsat Launch Industry
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A startup named Relativity has conducted more than six dozen test firings of a new liquid oxygen/liquid methane rocket engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, CEO Tim Ellis told a Senate subcommittee last week.
“Relativity is a stealth-mode startup re-imagining the way orbital rockets are built and flown,” said Ellis, who co-founded the company. “We are creating a new launch service for orbital payloads enabled by never-seen-before technologies, allowing for a high degree of launch schedule certainty at significantly reduced cost.”
The Los Angeles-company aims to build small satellite boosters with “zero human labor” to bring down launch costs.
Relativity has been in stealth mode since it was founded in December 2015. Last week CEO Tim Ellis provided some details about the company when he testified with other industry officials before the Senate Subcommittee on Space.
Ellis said he and co-founder Jordan Noone met seven years ago while students at the University of Southern California in the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory. After stints at Blue Origin and SpaceX, the pair founded Relativity.
In January 2016, the company entered a three-month program run by Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator. Documents filed with Securities and Exchange Commission indicate the company has ...

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