Capitalsm in space: The smallsat rocket company Relativity has signed another launch contract, this time with Momentus, a company making orbital smallsat tugs capable of transporting smallsats to higher orbits.
The launch agreement, announced during Euroconsult’s World Satellite Business Week here, covers one launch of Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket in 2021 with an option for up to five additional launches. The companies did not disclose the terms of the agreement, but Relativity offers the Terran 1 for a list price of $10 million.
The 2021 launch will fly Momentus’ Vigoride Extended tug, capable of carrying up to 350 kilograms of satellites. The tug will transport the satellites from an initial low Earth orbit to geostationary orbit using its water plasma thruster technology.
This is Relativity’s fourth launch contract, all signed prior to their first test launch. Right now they hope to start test flights late in 2020, with their first operational flights in 2021.
Momentus meanwhile adds a capability to all these smallsat rockets, essentially providing them an upper stage that will get the smallsats they launch from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit.