Jeff Bezos visited the new headquarters of Relativity Space, the 3D-printing rocket builder

The row of two-story tall 3D printer bays at the firm’s headquarters.

Relativity Space

The founders of two personal rocket-building corporations met at this time – one, the richest individual on Earth; the different, chief of a enterprise pushing the boundaries of manufacturing.

Jeff Bezos stopped by the gleaming new “factory of the future” of Relativity Space on Friday, an individual acquainted with the go to advised CNBC, for a tour of the Long Beach, California facility with CEO Tim Ellis. Relativity moved into the new facility final summer season.

The nature of the go to to Relativity’s headquarters was unclear.

Ellis beforehand labored at Bezos’ area firm Blue Origin as a propulsion engineer – and was credited for bringing the course of of 3D printing metallic rocket components in-house. Ellis then left Blue Origin in 2015 to discovered Relativity with Jordan Noone, a university classmate and former SpaceX propulsion engineer.

Relativity declined CNBC’s request for touch upon Bezos’ go to, whereas Blue Origin didn’t reply to requests for remark.

The manufacturing unit ground of Relativity’s new headquarters in Long Beach, California.

Relativity Space

Relativity has gone all in on the 3D-printing strategy, utilizing huge printers and metallurgy developed in-house to construct 95% of the components of its rockets. Ellis emphasizes that 3D-printing drastically cuts down on the complexity of its rockets, but in addition makes them sooner to construct and modify. Eventually, Relativity says its easier course of will have the ability to flip uncooked supplies right into a rocket on the launchpad in below 60 days.

The firm’s first rocket, Terran 1, is anticipated to launch for the first time later this yr. Terran 1 is priced at $12 million per launch and is designed to hold about 1,250 kilograms to low Earth orbit. That places Terran 1 in the “medium lift” part of the U.S. launch market, between Rocket Lab’s Electron and SpaceX’s Falcon 9 in each worth and functionality.

Relativity can be engaged on a second, bigger rocket known as Terran R – aiming to compete with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket in each launch functionality and reusability. Terran R is the first of a number of new initiatives that Ellis expects Relativity to unveil in the yr forward, with the firm having raised greater than $680 million since its founding 5 years in the past.

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief government officer of Amazon, speaks in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19, 2019.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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