Most people who visit LA come to see something like this, But I come to see stuff like this. This Grimey part of LA is Hawthorne California It’s not a lot to look at but it is where all the aerospace companies are located The old ones, the new ones like spaceX and then even newer companies like the one we are gonna visit today that are trying to build rockets faster and cheaper than ever before Relativity and its two founders – Tim and Jordan – have a plan to make rockets faster and cheaper than anyone else. To do this, they’re looking to build every part of a rocket. its engine, its fuel tanks and its body – with giant 3D printers. Relativity’s building the first autonomous rocket factory in launch service. The basic problem that these guys are trying to solve is that rockets remain very expensive and hard to make. SpaceX is the cheapest, most nimble rocket company around, and it charges about $60 million per launch So raw materials and propellant are 5% or less of the cost. 80 or 90% are labor and then the rest are kind of operational fees and things on the launch side. And so it’s really how do you take that raw material, make a rocket that’s actually going to work, and then fly it in the most efficient way. We believe autonomous manufacturing, which is how we think of 3d printing, really gets us to that point where we save a lot of money. At this point, you may be thinking, dear god, not another 3D printing thing. But here’s the deal. Relativity wants to sell it’s rockets for 10 million dollars each Hitting that low low everyday price, can only happen if machines replace humans on factory floor and to put a novel twist on it’s 3d printers, Relativity’s making it’s own metal, with this guy’s help So I’m Sam Thomaslan, I’m the lead materials engineer at relativity, I’ve been in charge of sourcing alloys, designing alloys, and tailoring all the processes to get the best material properties out of all the parts that we’re printing. We are looking at the structure of the materials on a micron level, and so we wanna see ductility, strength, formability, all that stuff. It’s insane to try and build a rocket. It’s even more insane to have to build the world’s largest 3D printer along the way. But there’s some reason to think that these two guys in their 20s have a chance at succeeding. The founders both built rockets at USC. After school, Tim took a job at Jeff Bezos’s rocket company Blue Origin where he specialized in 3D printing rocket parts. Jordan ended up at SpaceX, working on engines. Relativity has only been in business for a couple of years and hopes to fly it’s first rocket in 2021. They’ve raised about $10 million in funding and count Mark Cuban as their lead investor. Tell me how you first made your pitch to Mark Cuban, what was the subject line of your email. The subject line was “3d printing an entire rocket, space is sexy” and he bit and he bit, within 5 minutes like, his email game is crazy With a bit of luck. Okay, with a few thousand metric tons of luck, these guys hope not just to make rockets but to alter the course of how and where humans make all kinds of stuff. So we think a fully automated 3d printed factory with intelligent manufacturing with a small footprint is what we need when we’re going out to mars and colonizing outside of space. So relativity’s long term mission is we wanna 3d print the first rocket on mars this is like a stepping stone towards a future on mars? To get to this million people living and working on mars, you’re going to need industrial technology to compliment that. Being able to send these machines and 3d printers will really leverage and augment what their able to set up early on.