Relativity Space Takes Off with Faster, Reusable Rockets Built Through 3D Printing

Relativity Space Takes Off with Faster, Reusable Rockets Built Through 3D Printing

Relativity Space, an innovative company specializing in rocket manufacturing, is on its way to revolutionizing the aerospace industry. Founded eight years ago, Relativity is focused on building orbital-class rockets with the help of 3D printing technology. The company’s aim is to create rockets faster, with fewer parts, and enable changes to be made via software. To date, Relativity has raised over $1.3 billion in capital, expanding its footprint, including the addition of more than 150 acres at NASA’s rocket engine testing center in Mississippi.

Recently, CNBC visited Relativity’s factory called “The Wormhole” in Long Beach, California, where the company is building its larger and reusable line of Terran R rockets. The former Boeing facility, where C-17 aircraft was built, spans over one million square feet and is being filled with machinery and 3D printers. The CEO and co-founder of Relativity, Tim Ellis, stated that the company has room for about a dozen printers that can produce Terran R rockets at a pace of “several a year.”

The company’s first rocket, the Terran 1, is in its final stages of preparation for its inaugural launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Relativity has made a significant change in its fourth-generation Stargate printers, which are printing the main structures of Terran R horizontally. This change allows the printers to manufacture seven times faster than the third generation and has been tested at speeds up to 12 times faster.

For 2023, Relativity is focused on getting the Terran 1 to orbit, which will demonstrate its approach and show the world how fast it can progress the additive technology. Despite the economic climate, Relativity is still focused on being “scrappy” and delivering results.

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