Relativity Space is a Los Angeles, California based Startup Company which is into aerospace manufacturing. Founded in 2015 by Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone the company has quickly landed some big contracts to develop rockets to haul small satellites for commercial orbit launches. On Monday it announced that Spaceflight is making a deal for six launches making it the third major deal announcement in a few weeks. The company which started its operations with 14 people has now grown to 85 and has attracted leading talent from companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin. Relativity has been backed by some big names like Y Combinator and billionaire Mark Cuban. Cuban said that he is excited investing in this company and has till now funded $500, 000. In an email, he wrote ‘I’m excited,” Cuban said about Relativity in an email Saturday. “They have the contracts in place. Once the launches begin their momentum will only accelerate.’
Three major contracts in a matter of few weeks is an endorsement for its approach to the working model of the model. The company is using 3D printers for manufacturing the entire rocket, automate the entire process thereby reducing the cost and increase the launch-on-demand service. Moreover, the company said that its 3D printers could be reconfigured to change the design as per needs and also quickly respond to the need of the satellite companies. The CEO of Relativity Space Tim Ellis said: “People are starting to rally around that as the future of rocket technology, 3D printing allows us to evolve extremely quickly.”
There have been many startups that have tried to launch rockets, but very few have survived with only one launching a rocket. But Relativity is among those companies that have already landed some major contracts without even making a single launch observes Laura Forczyk from Astralytical. She said “When you’re talking to outside investors, people who aren’t very familiar with rocket companies, it’s very impressive,” Forczyk said. “If you make [3D printing] part of your branding, you stand out.”
Relativity has already designed its first rocket and has called it the Terran 1 and has become an instant hit in the market but many analysts like Forczyk are waiting for the rocket to get launched which is the ultimate test of its hardware, design, and operations.
The company has made deals with facilities like the NASA’s Stennis Space Centre and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to test and launch its rockets. If it does so successfully, then the company can have more lucrative contracts from public sectors too.