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Relativity Space (future launch provider)


tater
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13 hours ago, tater said:

 

That footage looks sped up.  The water-vapor image (when they focus on the clouds of water vapor in the wide shot) just look janky.

Am I imagining this - or does it look sped up to anyone else?

Edit - I think I'm right about this: they slow the footage down again in the last few seconds.

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18 minutes ago, AtomicTech said:

What's special about Relativity Space?

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Not being a jerk, just really want to know.

 

They're one of the many players trying to get into the commercial space game.

I'm of the opinion that 'the more the merrier'.  What I fear is that if none of these smaller players are successful, in 5 years we get ourselves (US, that is) into another 'single provider' situation, resulting in status quo merely having shifted - not being replaced by a mature space economy.

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45 minutes ago, AtomicTech said:

I see!

When you watch the video, if you're like me and over 50 - you see the guy who founded the company and realize that young people are still disrupting traditional businesses like Elon and Bezos did a generation ago.

Simply amazing that people under 40 are getting the funding to do stuff like this - and it actually makes you hopeful that they can pull off and accomplish what they say they can.

There's a line in the video where he talks about part counts and traditional manufacturing, analogizing the e-vehicle struggles - trying to slap a battery on a traditionally built car and making it electric, vs simply tooling from the ground up to create dedicated e-cars, which don't need all the stuff necessary for internal combustion driven vehicles.

Really cool stuff!

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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On 11/10/2021 at 11:23 AM, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

They're one of the many players trying to get into the commercial space game.

I'm of the opinion that 'the more the merrier'.  What I fear is that if none of these smaller players are successful, in 5 years we get ourselves (US, that is) into another 'single provider' situation, resulting in status quo merely having shifted - not being replaced by a mature space economy.

Both Spacex and Orbital seem pretty strong in their positions.  I can understand either economics or one of these startups mutually killing Rocket Labs in a price war, but both Spacex and Orbital seem to have a working business model (and it can't hurt to have Northrup Grumman bringing more Military Industrial Complex lobbyists).  Technically Blue Origin has a working model of "Jeff Bezos throws a few billion to it every few years", but that depends on his whims.  The rest are in a precarious position, built more on hope than any financial foundation.  Worse,  Bigelow appears dead even when their market is finally ready, and didn't even have competition in their niche.

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40 minutes ago, wumpus said:

Both Spacex and Orbital seem pretty strong in their positions.  I can understand either economics or one of these startups mutually killing Rocket Labs in a price war, but both Spacex and Orbital seem to have a working business model (and it can't hurt to have Northrup Grumman bringing more Military Industrial Complex lobbyists).  Technically Blue Origin has a working model of "Jeff Bezos throws a few billion to it every few years", but that depends on his whims.  The rest are in a precarious position, built more on hope than any financial foundation.  Worse,  Bigelow appears dead even when their market is finally ready, and didn't even have competition in their niche.

The whole problem I see is that 'space' as an economic resource / market is still very nascent.  There is a reason it was only done by governments - even if subcontracted to a variety of suppliers, the ultimate risk and very few (economic) rewards retained to the nation controlling the launches.  Certainly satellite data and television and GPS and the many other LEO applications have been beneficial, and one hopes profitable... but there's a real question of 'how much more' is attainable in the short term.  Exceptionally high cost and literal rocket science being barriers to entry.

The thing I like about what Relativity said was that they expect to get costs an order of magnitude down from traditional expectations - but also have remarkable flexibility to change direction if they discover something works better than a first or subsequent iteration; an issue that plagues traditional manufacturing.  Musk is working on the same theory, but also in a much lower tech way.  They're like, 'lets break this down... what is a rocket?  A tube with stuff in it.  Okay, who builds tubes?  Look - these guys over here build stainless steel tanks all the time, lets hire those guys to weld stuff together for us!"  And it works.

Musk's success poses a real risk to every other player - because what happens if he manages to be able to bring much more payload to LEO than anyone else for lower cost, and then literally captures the entire market?  For everyone's benefit, I hope that SX doesn't capture the whole thing - that they become (assuredly, if successful) the big player... but there's room for lots of other players in an economy that demands ever increasing access to launch services.

As launch market matures, space opportunities on the ground take off | TechCrunch

One of the things that players like Relativity may relegate to (if being a launch service provider is not profitable) is taking the technology and processes they've developed and being a subcontractor - building bodies or rockets or parts thereof... but that requires customers that are not 'in house', in other words, not SX.

 

Edited by JoeSchmuckatelli
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2 hours ago, JoeSchmuckatelli said:

Musk is working on the same theory, but also in a much lower tech way.  They're like, 'lets break this down... what is a rocket?  A tube with stuff in it.  Okay, who builds tubes?  Look - these guys over here build stainless steel tanks all the time, lets hire those guys to weld stuff together for us!"  And it works.

According to Scott Manley, a similar means was used to find a way to manufacture the AJ-260 (a monsterous SRB 3 or 4 times as powerful as the F-1.  Test fired, but never used in a rocket).  They realized that it had similar requirements as a submarine, and contracted out a submarine builder to make it.

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Great interview.  Especially interesting around 14:00 where they talk about machine learning and accounting for 3d printing thermal deformation prediction and pre-correction in the model.  This is probably nearly as big as AlphaFold2 and the protein folding win.  Well, in the same league anyway

The First 3D Printed Rocket Launch to Orbit is Coming Soon - Theory of Relativity - Marcus House

84,960 views
Mar 29, 2022

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGyL7aPFclU&t=1886s

Edited by darthgently
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