Relativity Space is defying the odds amid corona crisis

Relativity Space to move its 3D rocket printing factory to California

Relativity Space, a next-generation rocket builder, is to move its operations to Long Beach, California. The company, whose unique take on the launch industry is to build rockets using 3D printing technology, will soon be based out of an 11,150-square-meter space in Long Beach, California.

Announced Friday (Feb. 28) by a company representative, the new space will house the company’s business operations and also its autonomous 3D printing facility that will manufacture its Terran 1 rocket, which is expected to launch for the first time next year.

“Relativity is disrupting nearly 60 years of prior aerospace technology by building a new manufacturing platform using robotics, 3D printing, and AI,” Relativity Space CEO and co-founder Tim Ellis said in a statement.

Relativity Space received some sceptical eyebrows since it announced that it will heavily use 3D printing for most of its manufacturing process mainly because “additive manufacturing is known for its speed, not the strength or detail of its products”. Recent visits to their headquarters near LAX found their activities to be eye-opening, as we previously reported

Relativity Space is increasing innovation

“With no fixed tooling, Relativity has enabled a massive part count and risk reduction, increased iteration speed, and created an entirely new value chain,” Ellis added. “I’m confident our autonomous factory will become the future technology stack for the entire aerospace industry.”

Relativity Space’s approach to building launch vessels is quite revolutionary. For instance, the 95-foot-tall (29 m) Terran 1 has just 1% as many parts as “normal” rockets do, according to a description on the Relativity Space website. The two-stage rocket, which will be able to launch a maximum of 2,750 lbs. (1,250 kilograms) into low-Earth orbit on each $10 million mission, can be built from scratch in less than 60 days.

Co-founder and CEO Tim Ellis will be on hand at TC Sessions: Space in Los Angeles on June 25 to talk all about their work and progress.

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