Rocket building startup Relativity Space's co-founder Jordan Noone will step down from his role as chief technology officer, according to a copy of an email he sent Tuesday that was seen by CNBC.
Noone will become an Executive Advisor to Relativity, saying that he and CEO Tim Ellis "have achieved far more" goals in the past five years "than we had ever imagined" when the pair founded the company in 2015.
"For some time now, I've reflected on this journey, our accomplishments, my own career aspirations, and what I truly enjoy working on and can most contribute to here at Relativity," Noone wrote. "I strongly believe that the team we've built has never been set up for better success than at this point in time, and we are nearly there with delivering on our foundational goal of building an entirely 3D printed rocket. It's for these reasons and the team we now have in place, that I'll be transitioning into an Executive Advisory role here at Relativity, supporting Tim, the Board, and the executive leadership team."
Ellis responded to Noone in a subsequent company-wide email, saying "it has been an absolute honor and privilege to partner with you."
"As you set off on your next adventures, I and everyone at Relativity will be cheering you on," Ellis wrote.
The company has not yet responded to CNBC's request for comment.
Relativity is one of the most valuable private companies in the space industry, having raised $185 million in equity since its founding. Relativity's investors include Social Capital, Playground Global, Y Combinator, Bond Capital, Jared Leto and Mark Cuban. The company has more than 170 total employees and is moving into a Long Beach, California headquarters where it has multiple large 3D-printers.
The company is working to develop a rocket that is almost entirely 3D-printed, in an attempt to greatly reduce the time and number of parts it takes to build an orbital launch vehicle.
Relativity says its Terran 1 rocket boasts 100 times less parts than traditional rockets, with a simpler supply chain that can turn raw material into a rocket on the launchpad in under 60 days. The rocket is priced at about $10 million per launch, with Relativity aiming for the first flight next year.
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