WASHINGTON — Relativity, the startup developing a small launch vehicle using additive manufacturing technologies, announced Jan. 17 it has won approval from the U.S. Air Force to build a launch site at Cape Canaveral.
The company said it had received a “Statement of Capability” from the 45th Space Wing, which operates Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, allowing the company to develop a launch facility on the site of Launch Complex (LC) 16. The agreement gives Relativity exclusive access to the site for a 20-year term.
The agreement permits Relativity to proceed with construction of infrastructure at the site to support launches of its Terran 1 rocket. That includes a payload processing facility, a vehicle integration hangar, a horizontal transporter/erector, propellant storage farms and other equipment needed for launches there, said Tim Ellis, chief executive of Relativity, in an interview.
“We’ve been thinking about launch sites since Day 1 three years ago,” he said, but only formally kicked off a launch site selection process six months ago. The company considered a number of launch sites in the United States, but considered Cape Canaveral their top choice.
“The clear winner to us was partnering with the U.S. Air Force at ...