WASHINGTON — Small launch vehicle developer Relativity announced April 5 a contract with Telesat to launch a portion of that company’s low Earth orbit broadband satellite constellation.
The contract covers the launch of an unspecified number of Telesat LEO satellites on Relativity’s Terran 1 launch vehicle, starting no earlier than 2021. The companies declined to disclose the terms of the contract.
In an interview, Tim Ellis, chief executive of Relativity, said the contract is the first customer for the Terran 1 that the company has announced. He said Relativity previously signed a contract with another customer that has yet to be announced.
“What’s really notable about this and why it’s so important for Relativity and the industry is that this is the first time that Telesat, or any major global satellite operator, has selected a completely venture-based aerospace startup for launch services,” Ellis said, noting that the companies had been in extensive discussions prior to announcing this contract. “The credibility of aligning with Telesat we believe is huge for what Relativity is developing.”
Relativity is developing the Terran 1, designed to place up to 1,250 kilograms into low Earth orbit for $10 million per launch. The company is making extensive ...