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Relativity Space landed a contract with the Department of Defense' Defense Innovation Unit to launch a payload into orbit in 2023.

The contract is seen as a win because it can help set up Relativity long-term with the department. The unit is focused on scaling commercial space, artificial Intelligence and other technologies across the U.S. military and often works with companies in early development.

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A company that has its sights set on 3D printing rockets on Mars has gained another literal foothold toward making its launches reality.

Los Angeles-based Relativity Space announced Wednesday an agreement with the U.S. Air Force's 30th Space Wing to develop rocket launch facilities at Vandenberg Air Force Base's Building 330 and an adjacent area, bringing its launch capabilities to both coasts. The military base, which is also used by SpaceX for launches, is located roughly 2 ½ hours north of Los Angeles.

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Space City – Long Beach?

The oceanside city, known by tourists as the home of the Queen Mary, scored another win as it competes with Houston and Cape Canaveral as a hub for the new privately-led space race. Relativity Space, a five-year-old rocket maker, is opening a new 120,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Long Beach that bolsters the city's economic ambitions.

Relativity joins Virgin Orbit, Google-backed SpinLaunch, and others that established headquarters in Long Beach. Relativity's Friday announcement that its relocating from Los Angeles is another step in reviving the city's reputation as an aerospace hub.

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