December 28, 2021

More private rocket companies are set to light up Space Coast with launches in 2022

While SpaceX and United Launch Alliance have been sending rockets up at an increased pace the past several years, the Space Coast is about to get much busier with more commercial rocket companies set to join the launch party.

The first half of 2022 is slated to see two companies launch for the first time from Cape Canaveral from two older launch complexes while some massive new rockets are waiting on new engines in the hopes of lifting off before the end of the year.

For one company, Relativity Space based in Long Beach, California, its first planned launch from Space Launch Complex 16, will be its first liftoff ever. Its rockets are fabricated using 3D printing technology and are projected to take as little as 30 days to create, from the nose cone to the engine. Its first rocket is called Terran 1 while a much larger reusable version is in the works called Terran R.

While its first launch will be a test mission to make sure the craft can make it into orbit, Relativity has lined up eight customers including the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA, which awarded the company $3 million as part of its Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 contract.