Jeff Bezos Tours the New Relativity Space Facility

29th Mar 2021
Relativity Space HQ

Relativity Space welcomed Blue Origin owner Jeff Bezos to their new headquarters last Friday. However, details about the visit were kept private as he met the manufacturing company’s CEO. CNBC got wind of the visit from a source within the company on Friday. 

Tim Ellis, CEO of Relativity Space, gave the richest man on Earth a tour of the factory of the future, where rocket engines will be created using 3D printers. 

The new facility is located in Long Beach after moving from Inglewood, where it was previously based. 

Before moving to Relativity Space, Tim Ellis was an employee at Blue Origin holding a post as a propulsion engineer. He is credited with bringing the 3D printing concept to Blue Origin before leaving his position to take up his new role. 

Together with Jordan Noone, he founded Relativity Space after leaving Blue Origin in 2015. Noone was also a propulsion engineer but previously worked for SpaceX. 

CNBC was unsuccessful in getting a comment from the company on Jeff Bezos’s visit. 

Relativity Space Trail-Blazing Approach in 3D Printing 

The space industry is rapidly changing, and now 3D printed engines for rockets are almost a reality thanks to the Relativity Space designs. The company has set up huge printers in its new facility that’ll print out parts of the rocket engines. 

According to Ellis, 3D printing is the future of rocket manufacturing to benefit all stakeholders. The cost of making rockets is about to drop significantly, together with the time it takes to create said engines. Its ultimate goal is to produce a complete engine ready for installation in less than 2 months. 

Later in the year, Relativity Space will launch its initial rocket named Terran 1, which will cost $12 million to manufacture. The craft can carry a payload weighing 1250kgs which places it in between SpaceX and Rocket lab in terms of cost and capacity. Besides Terran 1, the company is also working on another spacecraft, Terran R. 

As for Blue Origin, the company is in the process of manufacturing rockets that can be reused after every launch to cut down on cost. A successful demonstration proved the concept could work as Blue Origin launched and landed New Shepard’s boosters. Using New Shephard, Jeff Bezos’ company will carry out space tours to low earth orbit. 

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