Rocket engine start-up Relativity Space shared a video of its 3D-printed rocket engine this week that’s stunning, for what it represents for the future of manufacturing and space travel.
The engine, named the Aeon 1, goes from ignition to full thrust in milliseconds. The entire video (embedded below) only last 10 seconds. While Elon Musk is working on the BFR, Relativity’s 3D printed engine is still a BFD for the future of space.
Relativity claims that the Aeon 1 engine takes far less time to create than a traditional rocket because it’s 3D printed — around one month instead of six for production, according to this chart that they shared — and has far less individual parts per engine. “Our process reduces the number of component interfaces, making full robotic automation of engine production possible,” the company says.
Relativity was founded in December 2015 by Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone, aerospace engineers and veterans of space companies Blue Origin and SpaceX, respectively. It first graduated from startup accelerator Y Combinator, before raising eight figures of funding – more than $10 million – led by Social Capital, the Palo Alto, California-based venture capital firm.