Blast Off! Relativity Space Plans Its Own Reusable Rocket

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Blast Off! Relativity Space Plans Its Own Reusable Rocket

Relativity Space, the Long Beach 3D-printed rocket maker, has unveiled plans to create a fully reusable rocket.

CEO Tim Ellis told CNBC that the move is an "obvious evolution" for the company. The announcement comes on the heels of a hefty $500 million round he closed in November.

"It's the same architecture, the same propellant, the same factory, the same 3D printers, the same avionics and the same team," Ellis told the outlet.


Dubbed Terran R, Relativity's second launch vehicle will carry 20 times the payload as its first model, which is slated to launch for the first time later this year, he said. That inches the company even closer to rivaling SpaceX's partially reusable rocket, Falcon 9.

The announcement kicks off a series of new initiatives. It's the five-year-old company's first big move since its latest round that bumped its valuation up to $3.2 billion. And Ellis told CNBC that Relativity is "in active dialogue" for a number of contracts for both rocket models.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk's SpaceX was valued at $46 billion in early 2020 after its own massive boost.

Relativity could not be immediately reached for comment.

The company boasts the world's largest robotic metal 3D printer that does away with the thousands of parts typically used to build rockets. The rockets require fewer than 1,000 parts and about 95% of each is 3D printed. And they're ready to launch in 60 days, Ellis told dot.LA last year.

Relativity's backers include Tiger Global Management, Playground Global, Y Combinator, Social Capital and Mark Cuban. dot.LA co-founder Spencer Rascoff is also an investor.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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