Author Topic: Relativity Space - Terran R  (Read 126301 times)

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Relativity Space - Terran R
« on: 06/08/2021 01:04 pm »
This thread is specifically for Terran R updates and discussion.

The general Relativity Space thread (including Terran 1) is:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40975.0

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/06/relativity-has-a-bold-plan-to-take-on-spacex-and-investors-are-buying-it/

Quote
Relativity has a bold plan to take on SpaceX, and investors are buying it
"We're trying to ice skate to where the puck is going."

ERIC BERGER - 6/8/2021, 2:00 PM

Relativity Space announced Tuesday morning that it has raised an additional $650 million in private capital and that this money will fuel an ambitious agenda of 3D printing large, reusable rockets.

The new funding will accelerate development of the "Terran-R" launch vehicle, Relativity Chief Executive Tim Ellis said in an interview. This large orbital rocket will be about the same size as SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. However, Ellis said, the entire vehicle will be reusable—the first and second stages, as well as the payload fairing. And it will have the capacity to lift 20 tons to low Earth orbit in reusable mode, about 20 percent more than a Falcon 9 booster that lands on a drone ship.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2021 09:19 am by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #1 on: 06/08/2021 01:09 pm »
https://www.relativityspace.com/press-release/2021/6/08/relativity-space-fundraise-series-e

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RELATIVITY SPACE RAISES $650M TO SCALE TERRAN R PRODUCTION

As a leading private space company with significant technical and commercial momentum, the company’s latest funding round helps catalyze production for its fully reusable, entirely 3D-printed rocket, Terran R, and to support long-term development 

Investment round led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC, with new investors including funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Centricus, Coatue, and Soroban Capital, in addition to participation from existing investors Baillie Gifford, K5 Global, Tiger Global, Tribe Capital, XN, Brad Buss, Mark Cuban, Jared Leto, and Spencer Rascoff



Long Beach, CA – June 8, 2021 – Relativity Space, the first company to 3D print an entire rocket and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, today announced it closed a $650 million Series E equity funding round. The round was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with participation from investors including Baillie Gifford, funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, Centricus, Coatue, K5 Global, Soroban Capital, Tiger Global, Tribe Capital, XN, Brad Buss, Mark Cuban, Jared Leto, and Spencer Rascoff, among others. Following the announcement of its fully reusable, entirely 3D printed rocket, Terran R, the company’s latest round of funding enables the scaling of the Terran R program and long-term infrastructure development. 

As a two-stage, 216-foot-tall rocket with a 16-foot diameter, and a 5-meter payload fairing, Terran R will be entirely reusable and capable of launching 20,000kg to low Earth orbit, starting in 2024 at the company’s launch site in Cape Canaveral. Created in Relativity’s Factory of the Future, by the same printers and the same team as Terran 1, Terran R has unique aeronautical features, complex structures, and has the ability to launch 20X more payload than Terran 1. Terran R will be outfitted with seven 3D-printed Aeon R rocket engines capable of 302,000 lb. thrust each, while its upper stage houses one Aeon 1 vac engine. Terran R also represents a large leap towards Relativity’s mission to build humanity’s multiplanetary future, eventually offering customers a point-to-point space freighter capable of missions between Earth, Moon and Mars.

“From our founding days in Y Combinator just five years ago, we planned on 3D printing Terran 1 and then Terran R – a 20X larger fully reusable rocket – on our Factory of the Future platform,” said Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Relativity. “Today we are one step closer to this goal. Together with our first rocket Terran 1, our second product, Terran R, will continue to take advantage of Relativity's disruptive approach to 3D printing – reduced part count, improved speed of innovation, flexibility, and reliability – to bring to market the next generation of launch vehicles. Relativity was founded with the mission to 3D print entire rockets and build humanity’s industrial base on Mars. We were inspired to make this vision a reality, and believe there needs to be dozens to hundreds of companies working to build humanity’s multiplanetary future on Mars. Scalable, autonomous 3D printing is inevitably required to thrive on Mars, and Terran R is the second product step in a long-term journey Relativity is planning ahead.”

Within the last six months, the company has continued to execute on commercial and technical milestones, including signing its first anchor customer for Terran R, the company's fully reusable, entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle. Relativity has now completed printing of over 85% of the first Terran 1 orbital rocket, including its first and second stage, keeping momentum for its launch end of this year from Cape Canaveral. Terran 1 continues to garner commercial traction, including recently announced customer contract with TriSept, its first launch contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, and a Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 (VCLS Demo 2) contract with NASA. Over the last year, despite COVID-19's impact on the overall economy, Relativity has accelerated its pace of hiring, now at 400+ employees with plans to hire an additional 200 team members this year. 

Disrupting 60 years of aerospace, Relativity’s radically simplified supply chain enables the company to build its rockets, including the world’s first entirely 3D printed rocket Terran 1 and its fully reusable, entirely 3D-printed rocket Terran R, with 100x fewer parts in less than 60 days. By fusing 3D printing, artificial intelligence, proprietary software, and autonomous robotics, Relativity has created an entirely new value chain for aerospace, starting with orbital launch. 

With a completely novel, top-down approach to 3D printing production, Relativity has created a new tech stack for aerospace that utilizes software-driven manufacturing, exotic materials and unique design geometries that are not possible in traditional manufacturing, driving unprecedented innovation and disruption in the industry. With continued high demand for Terran 1, Relativity has secured nine launch contracts from both private and government customers, and with satellite constellations representing the largest part of the growing market, Terran R helps the company serve its growing pipeline of commercial interest. 

To learn more about Terran R, or Relativity Space and its multiplanetary mission, visit relativityspace.com.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #2 on: 06/08/2021 01:10 pm »
https://twitter.com/tgmetsfan98/status/1402249120908255240

Quote
Before today, only one company had revealed a fully reusable rocket. Now, there is another: Relativity Space's Terran R.

"We believe there needs to be dozens to hundreds of companies working to build humanity’s multiplanetary future on Mars."

ARTICLE:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2021/06/relativity-reveals-terran-r/

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #3 on: 06/08/2021 01:11 pm »
« Last Edit: 06/08/2021 01:15 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Online Galactic Penguin SST

Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #4 on: 06/08/2021 01:28 pm »
Good to see someone finally trying out the full mini-Starship route, though with them yet to fly anything I have to say I'm highly skeptical of their 2024 target for Terran R. Especially since returning the upper stage from orbit isn't exactly a trivial matter for a start-up like that.  ::)
Astronomy & spaceflight geek penguin. In a relationship w/ Space Shuttle Discovery. Current Priority: Chasing the Chinese Spaceflight Wonder Egg & A Certain Chinese Mars Rover

Offline edzieba

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #5 on: 06/08/2021 01:39 pm »
I'd expect that is a 2024 target for first-vehicle-off-the-pad, not first successful upper stage recovery. Aggressive, but benefitting from a decade of SpaceX's 'lessons learned' in designing and building reusable vehicles.

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #6 on: 06/08/2021 01:42 pm »
It might have discussed elsewhere, but it was cool to see them reference “topology supported structures” at around the 31s mark of the video.  3D printing an optimized isogrid structure seems like a path to good mass ratios.   It also looks pretty cool,  especially the grid fin pattern has a very organic feel,  like a microscope cross section of cellulose,  or a a duck foot webbing.    I also liked the integrated RCS system inside the chines going down opposing vehicle sides of the aero surfaces.  Would really like to see them animate opening the nose cone.  It looks like they have a different version of a chomper.

It is really good to see other players optimizing differently than the dominant player. 
« Last Edit: 06/08/2021 06:49 pm by Stan-1967 »

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #7 on: 06/08/2021 02:06 pm »
Good to see someone finally trying out the full mini-Starship route, though with them yet to fly anything I have to say I'm highly skeptical of their 2024 target for Terran R. Especially since returning the upper stage from orbit isn't exactly a trivial matter for a start-up like that.  ::)
I too am highly skeptical of the 2024 target.  But if SpaceX's activities wasn't a big enough warning shot across the bow of all the slow moving competitors out there, this should be.  The game is changing permanently.  It's time for everyone else to figure out how to compete or risk being permanently sidelined.

Offline AU1.52

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #8 on: 06/08/2021 02:14 pm »
Blue where are you? Going to be at the back of the pack.


Very very good we have two companies with the same mission and vision from day one.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #9 on: 06/08/2021 02:14 pm »
I don’t get it. Even SpaceX with utter market dominance makes maybe $2b a year in launch revenue. That’s basically the best case a new entrant can hope for.

And yet we have dozens of would-be launch start-ups scrambling to get a share of this smallish market.

Got to wonder, if this was the mining or some other “non-sexy” industry, would we really have so many would-be competitors risking so much for so little?

Seems to be a lot of “entrepreneurs” who have the stars, rather than the cold hard dollars, captivating their attention.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2021 02:15 pm by M.E.T. »

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #10 on: 06/08/2021 02:28 pm »
I don’t get it. Even SpaceX with utter market dominance makes maybe $2b a year in launch revenue. That’s basically the best case a new entrant can hope for.

And yet we have dozens of would-be launch start-ups scrambling to get a share of this smallish market.

Got to wonder, if this was the mining or some other “non-sexy” industry, would we really have so many would-be competitors risking so much for so little?

Seems to be a lot of “entrepreneurs” who have the stars, rather than the cold hard dollars, captivating their attention.
This happens with other industries too.  If one makes a big splash others come rushing in hoping they'll be the one that does it right either by taking over the market or expanding it greatly.  All but a few will crash and burn.  Everyone wants to be part of the next Google like IPO.  Nothing unusual.

Offline ZachF

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #11 on: 06/08/2021 02:32 pm »
I don’t get it. Even SpaceX with utter market dominance makes maybe $2b a year in launch revenue. That’s basically the best case a new entrant can hope for.

And yet we have dozens of would-be launch start-ups scrambling to get a share of this smallish market.

Got to wonder, if this was the mining or some other “non-sexy” industry, would we really have so many would-be competitors risking so much for so little?

Seems to be a lot of “entrepreneurs” who have the stars, rather than the cold hard dollars, captivating their attention.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -Thomas Watson, president of IBM
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Offline Redclaws

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #12 on: 06/08/2021 02:43 pm »
I don’t get it. Even SpaceX with utter market dominance makes maybe $2b a year in launch revenue. That’s basically the best case a new entrant can hope for.

And yet we have dozens of would-be launch start-ups scrambling to get a share of this smallish market.

Got to wonder, if this was the mining or some other “non-sexy” industry, would we really have so many would-be competitors risking so much for so little?

Seems to be a lot of “entrepreneurs” who have the stars, rather than the cold hard dollars, captivating their attention.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." -Thomas Watson, president of IBM

The use of this quote supposes a revolution in the utility of space launch, as the computers Watson was talking about weren't going to sell *5* units, but they weren't going to sell tens of thousands, let alone millions...  Computers changed a lot.  Now, other people were predicting this, so I'm not defending Watson.

And...  I have to say...  Starlink feels very much like the start of that kind of revolution.  It's a *lot* of satellites.  They're close to the point where the majority of active non-micro-sat satellites are Starlink.  But Starlink doesn't have to be the only thing like it -  I think the suggestion Starlink could saturate the market for satellite connectivity really underestimates the long term hunger for greater bandwidth and more options.

Offline AU1.52

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #13 on: 06/08/2021 02:45 pm »
Up until very recently the cost of getting the space was very very expensive and relativity few could afford the costs of launch and the costs of designing satellites and other space craft where you had to take account of every gram of weight because launching was ( and mostly still it) very very expensive.


If in 5 years we now have 2 fully reusable launch vehicles cutting the cost of access to space by multiple orders of magnitude, many more companies will be able to launch objects into orbit and behind and because they will not have to why so much about how much every component weighs build them much cheaper using of the shelf parts, enabling yet more companies to build more objects and launch more.


The market would explode! Or should if we have enough imagination.

Offline GalacticIntruder

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #14 on: 06/08/2021 02:46 pm »
Another sliver reusable two stage methalox rocket? Too small for anything BEO. I don't get the Mars part, except just vying for mindspace.  Even Starship is really too small but the best they can do now. I do like it since this is what SpaceX would have done after F9 if they weren't Mars obsessed. Musk said F9 was 3.66m for Roads and their CA factory and that always limited what they could do. 5m was always more optimal.
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Offline su27k

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #15 on: 06/08/2021 02:59 pm »
Well at least they know which engine they'll use on the new rocket that'll fly in less than 4 years....

Also no legs on both stages, will use catcher too?

Edit: And I wonder if the "anchor customer" is Amazon Kuiper...
« Last Edit: 06/08/2021 03:04 pm by su27k »

Offline RoadWithoutEnd

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #16 on: 06/08/2021 03:07 pm »
Relativity has an interesting argument.  On the one hand, skeptics bring up the fact that 3D printing is generally too expensive for mass-production, and thus suited mainly for prototyping.  This is a strong argument that Terran 1 (an expendable) will not be a self-sustaining launcher.  However, if the plan is to use Terran 1 as a pathfinder for production of the Terran-R fully reusable vehicle, the small number of such vehicles needed to fill out a self-sustaining fleet means high production costs may not be a decisive obstacle.

The flaw in their reasoning may be in underestimating the number of prototypes they will have to build and test to arrive at a minimum viable product, which could easily make the costs of 3D printing prohibitive in development.  Even if in theory the cost of an operational reusable fleet would amortize quickly, that is only hypothetical if they can't get to the operational technology.

It's worth noting that they're trying to simultaneously:

* Scale the industrial capabilities of 3D printing beyond current states of the art, and...

* Create a fully-reusable orbital rocket, which even SpaceX has not yet done, on the scale of Falcon 9, which SpaceX gave up trying to do and couldn't find sufficient economic justifications to keep pursuing.

The possibilities are intriguing enough to support, but I find I'm more convinced by Astra's arguments for scaled expendables at the low end, manufactured cheaply and simply.  And on the high end, by SpaceX's brute-force approach to developing full reuse by any means necessary.

This is not to say that there isn't some amount of money that would allow Relativity to do exactly what it plans, but my intuition is that that number is far in excess of any investment it's likely to get before investors start forcing it to pick easier goals. 
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Offline ZachF

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #17 on: 06/08/2021 03:14 pm »

The possibilities are intriguing enough to support, but I find I'm more convinced by Astra's arguments for scaled expendables at the low end, manufactured cheaply and simply. 

Rocketlab tried this approach and had to abandon it though.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2021 03:14 pm by ZachF »
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Offline rakaydos

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #18 on: 06/08/2021 03:21 pm »

The possibilities are intriguing enough to support, but I find I'm more convinced by Astra's arguments for scaled expendables at the low end, manufactured cheaply and simply. 

Rocketlab tried this approach and had to abandon it though.
SpaceX followed that approach too. Falcon 9's cheapness as an expendable was what drove them to the initial dominance that gave them the slush fund to pursue reuse in a skeptical climate.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Relativity Space - Terran R
« Reply #19 on: 06/08/2021 03:22 pm »
I wish Relativity every success with Terran-R. A long way to go yet, but I’m optimistic that a step change in launch capability (that Starship & Terran-R would provide) will dramatically change the market.

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1402282834019160065

Quote
It sounds like Relativity is one of those other companies the Pentagon talked to about the Rocket Cargo program:

CEO Tim Ellis: "Point-to-point space transportation is an interesting market that we're looking at" with Terran R. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/08/relativity-space-raises-650-million-for-3d-printed-spacex-competitor.html

 

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