Founded in 2015, Los
Angeles-based Relativity Space company has the experience to back up its bold
ambitions. CEO and co-founder Tim Ellis worked as a 3D printing specialist at
Blue Origin for two years, while CTO and co-founder Jordan Noone worked at SpaceX.
After receiving $10 million in funding from various high-profile backers, the
ambitious orbital launch company is developing a giant metal 3D printer called
“Stargate,” which the company says is the largest metal
3D printer in the world. Perhaps the most exciting area of Relativity
Space’s strategy is that it intends to carry out its ultra-fast 3D printing
of Terran-1 rockets.
The Terran 1 is propelled by oxygen and
methane, and uses 10 Relativity Space Aeon 1 engines (nine for first-stage propulsion;
one for second-stage propulsion), which offer 15,500 lbf of thrust. Relativity
Space says it has carried out over 70 test fires of the Aeon 1.