Author Topic: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor  (Read 7098 times)

Offline ringsider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 312
  • Liked: 130
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #20 on: 07/15/2017 09:06 PM »
Tim Ellis is speaking to a Senate subcommittee today. There are a couple tidbits about relativity that he included in his statement.

The parts that were new to me were:
-methalox engine
-over 6 dozen hotfires with testing ongoing

Some big claims in that document.

Offline TrevorMonty

Good find Meberbs.
Some other takes from it

Looking at launching from drone ships/barges to get around lack of launch sites.
Want Venture class polar orbit launch site at Vandenberg.
Long term lease of stennis engine test stands.


Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 31140
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 9391
  • Likes Given: 297
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #22 on: 07/15/2017 10:32 PM »
Zero labor for operations is nonsense.  Airliners still need touch labor.  Even automated systems still need human oversight

Offline ringsider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 312
  • Liked: 130
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #23 on: 07/16/2017 08:26 AM »


Pic turned up in a Google search, apparently from the LinkedIn profile of one of their engineers.

That looks like a 3D printed structure.

Interestingly they are listed in California business registration under:

"Aerospace Castings, Aluminum."
« Last Edit: 07/16/2017 08:50 AM by ringsider »

Offline imprezive

  • Member
  • Posts: 27
  • CA
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #24 on: 07/16/2017 05:11 PM »
Zero labor for operations is nonsense.  Airliners still need touch labor.  Even automated systems still need human oversight

I would assume they mean zero touch labor. I think it's definitely possible with today's technology. However it would be enormously expensive and studies I've seen show the humans and robots working together are the most effective manufacturing method. It seems like a questionable business and engineering case if that's really their goal. However more power to them if they can do it.

Offline ringsider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 312
  • Liked: 130
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #25 on: 07/17/2017 07:02 PM »
So:

List of Active Space Act Agreements (as of December 31, 2016) with Domestic Commercial, State Local Government, and Non-profit Partners

SSAA-1053-0118
1124
23377
Relativity Space, Incorporated
Annex One Relativity Space Aeon 1 Engine Start Test Project
8/23/2016
8/23/2017
Reimbursable
SSC

=====

SSAA-1053-0117
1125
23376
Relativity Space, Incorporated
Reimbursable Space Act Umbrella Agreement
Relativity Space Incorporated Aeon 1 Launch Systems Development
8/23/2016
8/23/2020
Reimbursable
SSC

Offline ringsider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 312
  • Liked: 130
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #26 on: 08/11/2017 12:04 PM »
I heard a rumor that they are developing an aerospike at Stennis.

« Last Edit: 08/11/2017 12:05 PM by ringsider »

Offline ringsider

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 312
  • Liked: 130
  • Likes Given: 18
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #27 on: 08/20/2017 09:46 PM »
Short interview with one of the engineers:-

http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/articles/building-rockets-with-zero-human-labor/


Relativity Space has its sights set on an interplanetary future.

Rocket engineer John Rising has no doubt that humans will colonize other planets. And, with a little help from MIT Sloan, he is working to make that happen.

Rising is the lead for vehicle systems at the rocket startup Relativity Space, a company so steeped in secrecy that even its own website offers few details about what the business does.

Rising cannot share a lot of details about what the company is doing, but he does say that it is developing a lean, automated manufacturing system designed to greatly speed up rocket production. “One of the big challenges in the rocket launch industry is that it can take years to build a rocket, whereas we are building a vehicle in a completely reimagined way that will allow us to produce it … significantly faster, on the order of weeks … and this gives us a competitive advantage,” Rising said.

Interplanetary existence
Relativity Space has its sights firmly set on an interplanetary future. “In the long term, as a company, we believe off-planet manufacturing will require many of the methods and tools we’re developing,” Rising said.
« Last Edit: 08/20/2017 09:46 PM by ringsider »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5710
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 712
  • Likes Given: 4104
Re: Relativity Space - Orbital Rockets with zero human labor
« Reply #28 on: 08/21/2017 09:22 AM »
Hmmm

So they seem to have a 12 000lb Methalox engine for the first stage and it may (or may not) be clustered for a payload of about 5Kg to LEO.

But their big USP is zero tough labor during assembly?

As HMX observed there are a lot of hidden costs to a real launch (like the range fees, which IIRC are still 1 size fits all, regardless of the LV size, one of things that drove the Orbital Pegasus design).

This is obviously another attempt to address the question "Why is the cost of launch so high?"

I can (kind of ) see the logic (it's much better than lowering the cost of the propellant, which in cost terms is irrelevant) although the question is how do you implement this?

I've always quite liked centrifugal casting (embed the stiffener pattern, and any standard features in the mold, dross and air bubbles migrate to the inner surface and are machined off), available in the US for up to 8m diameters. Not quite enough for ITS or SLS,  but adequate for most peoples launch vehicle needs.  :)
   
The other interesting option would be implementing it as forged rings. Not so big a diameter but metal quality is the best available, and in principle internal and external feature patterns possible. 

Metal tanks side step any issues with composites and cryogenic propellants.

Time will tell if making an item that's disposed of after one use in a truly "disposable" way will lower the cost.  :(
« Last Edit: 08/21/2017 09:24 AM by john smith 19 »
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Tags: