There’s a factory out there where robots roam around, building rockets, with no help from humans whatsoever.
The co-founder of Relativity Space, Tim Ellis, has talked about his project. He and his partner want to combine 3D printing and artificial intelligence to make the most out of his rocket. When walking among the robots that occupy the factory, he says that he completed the upper stage of the rocket of the company, which will be shipped to Mississippi to get through its first tests. He says that across their factory, it’s a recording studio that’s run by Snoop Dogg.
It’s good to understand from the very start that the company can make rockets anywhere. In their idea, Snoop Dogg is not their neighbor. We say this because the company doesn’t only want to build rockets; they want to do it on Mars. You’re probably asking yourself how they want to do it. With robots, of course.
If you’re going to the Los Angeles headquarters of the company, you’d see four of the biggest metal 3D printers in the whole world. They are doing spacecraft day and night.
The latest model of the printer owned by this company is nicknamed Stargate. It is 30 feet tall, and it comes with two massive robotic arms – they’re basically tentacles for the machine. This kind builds about 95% by mass, of the very first rocket of the Relativity company, which is named Terran-1. They won’t print the electronics, the rubber gaskets, the cables, and a lot of other moving parts of the ship.
In order to make a rocket by 3D printing it, you need to rethink the way rockets are designed.