3D printing expert Relativity Space will build a second factory on the site of a former Boeing factory in Long Beach, California, where the company will relocate its headquarters and focus on making fully reusable rockets.
“This really allows us to continue to expand our ambitions, and of course to build, develop and drive Terran R,” Tim Ellis, CEO of Theory of Relativity, told CNBC.
The company has raised nearly US$1.2 billion in funding in the past eight months and is expected to begin construction of new facilities this summer and relocate in January 2022. The former Boeing C17 aircraft manufacturing plant, covering more than 1 million square feet, “this is definitely a terrible building,” Ellis said.
“As an aerospace facility in history, this means that there are no pillars in the middle of the factory, just like a loosely supported ceiling. It has a giant bridge crane that can lift heavy objects, so it has been equipped with many parts, making it a great aerospace factory,” Ellis said.
“It is large enough for us in the next few years And continue to grow in the coming decades,” he added. The
new building adds Relativity’s current 120,000 square foot headquarters, which was also built in Long Beach and relocated last year. The new headquarters will have space for more than 2,000 employees, A metal laboratory, a mechanical workshop, “dozens” of the company’s 3D printer carriages, and a mission control center.
Take a closer look at the renderings of the company’s new factory near the Long Beach Airport in California.
Take a closer look at renderings of the company’s new factory near California’s Long Beach Airport.
The company focuses on using 3D printing to make rockets. Relativity said that due to the simplified supply chain, the number of parts required for this process has been reduced by thousands and it can be completed in 60 days.
Relativity has started building some of the first parts of your Terran R rocket and you can build the entire rocket at its current location. But Ellis said the largest buildings will have “more than 100 times the printing capacity” of Relativity’s existing buildings, and will have enough space to build “too many” rockets each year.
The new building has more space than Relativity needs to produce Terran R, but Ellis says this is the only clue he can give to the company’s “other plans” for the installation.
Terran 1 on runway
Artist’s rendering of Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket at the LC16 launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Artist’s rendition of Relativity’s Terran 1 rocket at the LC16 launch pad in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Relativity is developing two types of rockets, Terran 1 and Terran R. The first is a single-use vehicle that can compete with medium-sized rockets from companies such as ABL Space or Firefly Aerospace, and the second is a fully reusable vehicle. Tool that can compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Ellis said his company is now “assembling the first stage of a real orbital rocket” for the first launch of Terran 1 later this year.
“We are now entering the final engine rankings for Terran 1,” said Ellis. “[Florida]’s Terran 1 launch site is also about to be completed…so there is still a lot to do on the way to launch later this year.”
The current company headquarters will continue to be used to produce Terran 1 Rocket, Relativity currently has more than 400 employees and is expected to increase by more than 200 by the end of this year. The time-lapse photography in the
3D printing cabin shows the manufacturing process of the Terran second-level flying tank 1: The time-lapse photography in the
3D printing cabin shows the manufacturing process of the first-level flying tank Terran:
While Relativity Rapid Expansion and financing have made it one of the most valuable private companies in the aerospace industry, valued at US$4.2 billion. Ellis emphasized that these milestones are secondary to the goal of launching the first rocket later this year.
“In the final analysis, launching to orbit is all commercial. Of course, these are important signals and motivations to achieve goals, but infrastructure alone cannot win, but it is a huge determining factor, “Ellis said.