'Everything That Flies Will be 3D Printed in 20 Years': Relativity's CEO On How Private Biz is Changing the Space Race

Joe Bel Bruno
Joe Bel Bruno is dot.LA's editor in chief, overseeing newsroom operations and the organization's editorial team. He joins after serving as managing editor of Variety magazine and as senior leadership in spots at the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. He's a veteran journalist that loves breaking big stories, living back in L.A., a good burrito and his dog Gladys — not necessarily in that order.
'Everything That Flies Will be 3D Printed in 20 Years': Relativity's CEO On How Private Biz is Changing the Space Race
Photo by Spencer Rascoff

Relativity Space co-founder Tim Ellis said Thursday that he expects that 20,000 satellites will launch in the next five years, representing a $25 billion market for the 3D rocket printer to compete in.

The company, which recently announced it is moving into a new headquarters complex in Long Beach, is currently building its first rocket, which is expected to launch next year. His goal is to make the company a strong competitor in the $350 billion space economy against bigger rivals like Space X and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.


Ellis told an audience at the Montgomery Summit in Santa Monica that private companies are paving the way for cheaper and more efficient ways of getting satellites into orbit in an aerospace industry dominated by legacy giants like Boeing.

"We still use the same tools in aerospace that owe did sixty years ago," he said. "The aerospace industry just hasn't had a renaissance yet."

Ellis said his rockets, made using giant 3D printers, builds components with 1,000 parts in two to six months. Meanwhile, traditional rocket building uses about 100,000 parts and can take up to 48 months.

Relativity's Terran 1 rocket can be built in about 60 days, he said. The company counts Mark Cuban and Tribe Capital among its backers, and has raised $185 million in venture funding. Ellis expects the industry to flourish as manufacturing shifts away from traditional methods.

"Everything that flies will be 3D printed in 20 years," he said.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Adtech Firm OpenX Lures New SVP, Getlabs and DISQO Tap New VPs

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern 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’: Adtech Firm OpenX Lures New SVP, Getlabs and DISQO Tap New VPs
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.

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: Miracle Miles Lands $100M, Fintech Startup Tapcheck Hauls $20M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern 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.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Miracle Miles Lands $100M, Fintech Startup Tapcheck Hauls $20M
Image by Joshua Letona

In this week’s edition of “Raises”: An L.A.-based footwear company closed $100 million to boost its expansion into the global market, while there were Series A raises for local fintech, biotech and space startups.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending