Relativity Space has been awarded its first launch contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the company said Monday. The contract is a Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Launch Enterprise follow-up effort to the DoD Space Test Program Rapid Agile Launch Initiative. This initiative looks to identify commercial solutions for low-cost, responsive access to space “as a service.” The contract was facilitated by the Defense Innovation Unit


Relativity expects the mission to take place in 2023. The company was not able to confirm the value of the contract on Monday.

The “launch as a service” program looks to use launch systems with capacity between 450-1,200 kg to Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), and Relativity’s entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle, Terran 1, meets these specifications. 

“It is an honor to continue to serve the U.S. government and build upon our nation’s leading abilities in space with Relativity’s first DoD satellite launch contract award. The Defense Innovation Unit is a group whose innovative approach aligns with the work we are doing at Relativity to revolutionize the future of aerospace,” said Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Relativity.

Relativity was recently awarded a NASA Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 contract in December for $3 million. This contract is part of NASA’s Launch Service Program to launch smallsats to space. 

Relativity is working toward the first launch of the 3D printed Terran 1 rocket this year. The company recently closed a massive, $500 million Series D round led by new investor Tiger Global Management.

This article was originally published in our sister publication Via Satellite.