Relativity Space CEO announces historic public-private partnership at Stennis Space Center

March 21, 2018

Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis announces historic public-private partnership between the Los Angeles based launch company and NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center that will enable the company to rapidly develop its Terran 1 vehicle.

Tim Ellis, CEO & Co-founder of Relativity Space, revealed today that his company had finalized the first-ever Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) agreement between NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center and a privately funded company. This historic agreement grants Relativity exclusive use of the E4 test complex to conduct engine testing around-the-clock, develop multiple vertical engine test stands, along with a second and first stage hold-down test stand. Relativity estimates this CSLA will save them up to $30M in terms of infrastructure and other testing facilities they will no longer need to build themselves.

“Our partnership with Stennis is an important milestone for Relativity,” said Tim. “We are an emerging leader in America’s commercial space industry and, as the company moves into its next phase of growth, this agreement gives us the certainty and flexibility we need to develop our vehicle in the most efficient way possible. Our team and the path-breaking technology they have developed are reimagining the way rockets are built and flown and this partnership will help us make our vision a reality. Relativity Space looks forward to serving the rapidly growing market for launch services and we are grateful to the entire Stennis team for their support.”

“This is an exciting time for us,” said Richard Gilbrech, Stennis Space Center Director. “Signing of our first CSLA agreement with Relativity Space opens yet another avenue for commercial customers to perform cost-efficient engine testing at Stennis.”

The CSLA terms are for a 10-year initial use with an option for a 10-year extension. The 25-acre E4 complex was originally developed by NASA with multiple test cells able to test engines up to several hundred thousand pounds of thrust but is currently unused infrastructure. Over time, Relativity plans to use E4 to initially qualify and acceptance test more than 36 vehicles and 360 engines per year.

Last month, Tim was selected to serve on the National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group (UAG), a select group of private, public and non-governmental stakeholders who will advise the Council as it seeks to foster close coordination, cooperation, and technology and information exchange across the nation’s space enterprise. Relativity is the only early-stage commercial space company represented on the UAG and Tim is its youngest member by over a decade.

About Relativity Space

Relativity is disrupting 60 years of aerospace tradition by creating an entirely new process to build and fly rockets. Led by co-founders Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone, the company has created the world’s largest metal 3D printer to 3D print their own rockets and launch satellites into space. Relativity’s process cuts rocket part count by 100x and enables rockets to be built in days instead of years. Based in Los Angeles, CA, Relativity is privately funded by Social Capital, Y Combinator Continuity and Mark Cuban. For more information, please visit

Contact:  For more information or for interview requests please contact Teddy Johnston at



#Aerospace, #Stennis Space Center, #Success Story