Monday, August 20, 2018

An early SpaceX employee will now help Relativity reach the launch pad


Enlarge / At the heart of the Relativity factory is the "Stargate" 3D printer, which the company says is the largest metal 3D printer in the world. (credit: Relativity Space)

Relativity is one of the most ambitious companies in the rocket industry. It seeks to manufacture the entirety of its rockets using 3D printing techniques, hoping to one day print a rocket on the surface of Mars to launch from there. But are either of these goals achievable?

Some new moves by the company suggest they just might be. On Monday morning, Relativity will announce the hiring of Tim Buzza as an adviser to shepherd the company's launch vehicle execution. These duties will include finalizing the selection of a US-based launch site (a decision will come before the end of this year) and overseeing development of ground launch systems at that site.

Tim Buzza

Tim Buzza (credit: Relativity Space)

Buzza is a well-known figure in the aerospace industry. He was employee number five at SpaceX, having hired on in 2002, and over a 12-year career ended up as the company's vice president of launch operations. In an oral history interview in 2013 with NASA, Buzza explained his early duties at SpaceX.

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