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Relativity raises $650M for a bigger 3D-printed rocket

Relativity Space, the space venture that got its start in Seattle and is now working on 3D-printed rockets in California, says it’ll build a bigger launch vehicle with the aid of a similarly huge $650 million Series E funding round.

The startup says its fully reusable, two-stage Terran R rocket will be capable of launching more than 20,000 kilograms (44,000 pounds) to low Earth orbit. That’s 16 times the listed payload capacity of its first-generation Terran 1 rocket, which is due to make its debut this year, and equal to the capability of SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

“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,” Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Relativity, said today in a news release. “Today we are one step closer to this goal.”

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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