Here at 3D Rapid Print, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
On October 1st 2019, aerospace manufacturer Relativity Space of Los Angeles, California announced that it had closed a $140 million Series C funding round; this brings them one step closer to their dream of launching a fully 3D printed rocket into orbit. They had previously raised $35 million in Series B funding in March 2018. Incidentally, one of their new investors is actor and Thirty Seconds To Mars frontman Jared Leto. (The use of the words “Series B” and “Series C” refers to rounds of venture capital funding; this can be defined as “Money available for investment in start-up companies and small businesses with a high potential for growth.”)
Named Terran 1, Relativity Space claim that their 3D printed rocket could be built in just 2 months, and would have a hundredth the part count of traditional rockets. In addition, they thus far boast more than 200 test firings of Terran 1’s engine the Aeon 1, as well the world’s largest model of metal 3D printer, named Stargate. (The name Stargate is almost certainly a reference to Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich’s 1994 science fiction film, as well as the franchise it spawned.) Terran 1’s first test flight is planned for 2020, with its first commercial flight in early 2021.
Relativity Space’s current customers include:
- Launching part of the low Earth orbit broadband satellite constellation of self-appointed “leading global satellite operator” Telesat of Ottawa, Canada.
- Launching the first low Earth orbit satellite of satellite broadband provider Mu Space of Bangkok, Thailand.
- Collaborating with self-proclaimed “next-generation space company enabling access to space and redefining global intelligence” Spaceflight Industries of Seattle, Washington, for a series of small satellite rideshare launches.
- Launching small and medium sized satellites of in-space shuttle services provider Momentus of Santa Clara, California into geosynchronous orbit. (Low Earth orbit refers to orbiting at an altitude between 124 and 1240 miles, whereas geosynchronous orbit refers to completing a full orbit specifically once a day.)
Relativity Space was established in 2015 by Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone, both of whom used to work at Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin of Kent, Washington. Ellis was one of Blue Origin’s engineers, whereas Noone used to be one of their intern’s, before working as an engineer at SpaceX of Hawthorne, California. (Like Relativity Space, Blue Origin and SpaceX are both aerospace manufacturers.)
3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.
Disclaimer: Featured image of “Soyuz TMA-13 Edit” is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted.”