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Inversion and the Focus on Return with Justin Fiaschetti

Join Tim as he talks with Justin Fiaschetti from Inversion about their amazing return capsules and what this could mean to the industry as a whole.

Justin Fiaschetti is the Co-Founder and CEO of Inversion, an LA based start-up that is building low-cost space capsules, which are 4 ft in diameter, to provide high cadence return capability to the space industry. Prior to starting Inversion with his Co-Founder Austin Briggs, Justin was working on propulsion at Relativity Space and ground support equipment at SpaceX for their Raptor engine.

View the Interview on YouTube here:

Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] Tim Chrisman: Hi, and welcome to another edition of podcasts for the future. My name's Tim Chrisman. And today I'm joined byJustin Fiaschetti , the CEO and co-founder of inversion space. Justin has spent the past few years. Working a variety of different space jobs leading up to the founding of inversion which actually was birthed in late 20, 20, went through Y Combinator in mid 21, just closed its $10 million seed round last fall.

[00:00:40] And it's now in the process of scaling up and preparing for some of its demonstrator missions next year. Justin actually is relatively early in his career. He went to Boston university for mechanical engineering degree with an aerospace focused, but ended up putting his bachelor's degree [00:01:00] on hold because in his senior year, he realized there is really the market timing and opportunity to take this idea of returning.

[00:01:11] Goods from space in a reusable rapid way that now is the time to do it. And so he sees that opportunity along with his co-founder. And as we've seen over the past year, it looks like they were right on the money in terms of the timing of this and the market potential. So without further ado, let's jump in.

[00:01:37] Alrighty. Great to have you here, Justin. Thanks for coming on to a podcast for the future. Yeah. Thank you so much for. Yeah, it's it's exciting having a chance to chat with you. I've we'll get to talking about inversion and what you're doing now, but being somebody that has watched [00:02:00] startups from the outside for quite a while.

[00:02:01] It's pretty cool. Being able to talk to a pseudo celebrity in in startup land because you're a successful Y Combinator grant. So that's pretty cool. What was that?

[00:02:12] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah. Yeah, I appreciate it. And I wouldn't say I'm anything of a celebrity at all yet, but but I appreciate it. Yeah. Y Combinator was fantastic.

[00:02:18] In version, we're focused on building low cost space, capsules for turning cargo back to purchase, kind of one of the first company. Focused on re-entry and returned solely. We've seen a lot of great launch companies come online to basically open up space as a sector that we can actually do things that and myself and my co-founder Austin, we decided, Hey, we need to focus on this.

[00:02:38] Sector that hasn't been addressed, which is return. And so we we applied to Y Combinator back in we actually applied in on December 23rd, 2020 which is about seven days before the bachelor. For the winter 20, a winter 21 batch. And the deadline was back in September. So we were about three months late on the application, but we said, Hey, we might as well sending that [00:03:00] location.

[00:03:00] And while we weren't able to get into that batch, they said, Hey, we're gonna roll you over into your application over and we'll look at you for the summer. So around the end of February, we got a call saying, Hey, we want to interview you guys for the Y for the batch. And we went into the interview that Y Combinator interviews are incredibly tough.

[00:03:17] It's about 10 minutes of just very intense questioning. And so we prepped for that for, we found out about. I think about three days early. And we've prepped up for that for, the entire day, every single day up until it. And then we got, we did the interview, we got the call that they wanted to let us send to the batch, which we were incredibly excited about.

[00:03:34] I think it's just a Testament to Y Combinator seeing. Seeing the future of space, seeing the different use cases that are possible and willing to take risks on that kind of thing. So then we started the batch over over the summer of 2021. So we started in I think in June the June timeframe and it is, as anyone will tell you, it is the most productive, one of the most productive times the company will ever have.

[00:03:55] From just the velocity or moving the patient, moving the amount you're learning. And it was really helpful for myself and my [00:04:00] co-founder Austin because we're engineers by trade, right? So learning that business side, learning the fundraising side, just a really incredible experience.

[00:04:07] And they just announced a, they just announced a new deal, a new standard deal for Y Combinator companies on upping the amount of money they give, which is really. Oh, that is

[00:04:16] Tim Chrisman: cool. Yeah, no, that's awesome. Yeah, I wanna hear more about inversion, but I wanted to start by talking about where you got your start, because it definitely seems like a mix of what you would expect and not so much, like you went to Boston university.

[00:04:32] For mechanical engineering. My dad's a mechanical engineer. So I'm obligated to you make jokes about civil engineers, but yeah. How, what was, what was that like coming out of, mechanical engineering for aerospace and then starting work in the

[00:04:47] Justin Fiaschetti: sector. Yeah. Started.

[00:04:50] General excitement and experience in building things started in high school where I was really into woodworking, fine woodworking for furniture and art pieces and stuff like that, [00:05:00] and really got the bug for just like creating something out of nothing or transforming materials into functional pieces of furniture in that case.

[00:05:07] And that led right into college. Focused on mechanical engineering myself and my co-founder Austin, we actually met each other sitting. We sat next to each other at matriculation the matriculation ceremony on the first day of college, which was very very exciting. And we then ended up joining the rocket propulsion group at Boston university together.

[00:05:24] A group focused on being the first undergraduate group to launch. By propellant rocket to space. So pass the Karman line. And we just fell in love with it from the very first day there. Of, of, bringing industry-level experience down into the co collegiate the collegiate age group and, spent many nights in the lab working working tirelessly, designing a lot of great stuff.

[00:05:45] And yeah, so then I I was able to go, to add the opportunity to go to space X down McGregor and work on a test equipment for their Raptor engine, which was a fantastic experience. And then also go to a relativity space where I was working on the cooling systems for [00:06:00] their AI engine. So really a kind of great experience there, and those were both internships.

[00:06:04] So those were both during college. And then we came up with myself and my co-founder also, we came up with the idea of. Inversion actually in our senior years of college and we, we said, Hey, this is like really incredible, right? This idea, that to market timing. Perfect. We spent about two months pressure testing the idea, talking with customers, understanding is this a thing?

[00:06:23] Is this, will this be needed? And then decided to go full time on it. Finished up finished up one last semester and then took a leave of absence because I feel like fully believed in inversion and the mission that we're focused on. But making the first accessible return vehicles for both the commercial and defense industries.

[00:06:38] Yeah.

[00:06:39] Tim Chrisman: That's incredible. We don't think about, or at least most people outside the sector don't necessarily think about return. There's a sense that, oh, of course you can get stuff back from space. It just falls to the ground. Like we see astronauts come back all the time, but the sort of master orbit and in master return is often wildly different.

[00:06:58] So yeah. Talk about. [00:07:00] What, what was it that made you realize this is a niche that was uncovered.

[00:07:05] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah, that's a great it's great observation of kind of the difference between launch and reentry as far as either even number of missions or total mass. I think last year or the year before there was about six reentry or six returned missions while there were, 120 ish launch launch missions.

[00:07:21] So a vast disparity in that. And that's generally because if you can't go up to space at a high cadence and a low cost is really not much of a reason to start with. Because fundamentally first we need to have higher up mass than down mass. That's not necessarily true long-term, which I can get into.

[00:07:37] But we saw, we also, and I were talking one night about what are, what is the future of space look like? We would have these conversations with our friends just cause it's fun and all that stuff. But, we saw that, launches a pretty solved problem, especially over the next five years, a lot of great launch companies, a lot of great talents of people going after that space.

[00:07:54] And there's going to be continuous innovation, which we're really excited. We also noticed that a lot of the kind of [00:08:00] initial things one would think about in doing in space, for a one way trip to space, let's say of satellite internet or imaging or GPS. A lot of those were pretty well established, right?

[00:08:11] Pretty much on the brink of being solved or have been solved. But so we asked ourselves, what is next? What looks, or what does the future look like? And we saw this vast disparity of, okay, 90 odd percent of the value generated in space is is brought back to earth through the return of information and data rather than the actual return of physical items.

[00:08:31] And while that is fantastic and we think that is a, that should continue to expand the absolute quantity of information sent back. It's clear that any physical market, as space as a market and as earth as a market, we'll have trade between them with physical items. But that can only happen once you have the infrastructure to enable that trade.

[00:08:50] It's very hard to. Build a use case before you actually have a way to bring stuff back, but there are a lot of promising use cases demonstrate on ISS and across the [00:09:00] board, whether that be in-depth research on the life sciences side or the return of lunar samples or asteroid mining down in the future.

[00:09:07] And or are you interested in fundamentally using space as a transportation layer for earth transport? A lot of cool stuff coming on.

[00:09:14] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Yeah, no. And it's as we're starting to hear more and more about, everything from 3d printing organs in space to manufacturing in space that backhaul essentially is the limiting factor right now.

[00:09:28] And so that's such a cool. And as you said, pretty timely to do that now as we're ramping up lunches in the last year I would bet in no small part getting into Y Combinator was because of that. Had it been three or three or four years previously there would've been like, cool.

[00:09:47] All right. Yeah. But not enough is going up. So that was, amazing market timing. Now this is what legends are made of.

[00:09:54] Justin Fiaschetti: I think you're, I think you hit on a good point of timing, right? The any startup is is a combination of success, the [00:10:00] success of any star, but the combination of a number of factors.

[00:10:01] But one of those is the timing of the market. We've seen a number of companies in different sectors that are just before. Google glass is a great example. Where I think it's pretty clear that an AR glasses will become a thing. And we think that we hit the timing pretty well.

[00:10:16] Obviously there's still a lot to be proven out in a lot of work that has to go into fleshing this out. But yeah, I think we're starting to see the market the space market expand past launch, right? So people are asking what is the post-launch space economy look like? Whether that, we've seen all.

[00:10:30] These contracts come out from NASA for space stations and stuff. And one of the biggest things that is limiting for those space stations as reentry is the amount of mass and the frequency of mass that you can bring back. Most customers don't want to stay on station for more than, three weeks at a time.

[00:10:45] They prefer to bring their cargo back at a higher cadence rather than having to wait for a hundred other customers to fly back once a quarter. So yeah, I think the timing was. Fantastic with YC. And the ISIS, I think that the. [00:11:00] The market timing is great for like the space industry based on the technological capabilities that are available right now.

[00:11:07] No costs, launch, low cost elect and small electronic systems mature thermal protection materials. But also the fundraising market was pretty it was in a good spot to for that as well as the customers that we would be flying. They're starting to mature at the same rate. Yeah,

[00:11:22] Tim Chrisman: no, and that's really cool.

[00:11:24] And I would imagine, as you've gone through the past few months, doing the seed fund raising a lot of that had to also be the market validation and, starting to secure those customers. When you look across those customers, are there any that are like, this is really weird.

[00:11:41] Like I never thought I would be working with a company that did

[00:11:44] Justin Fiaschetti: this. That's a great question. I think there is a. There's a lot of variety in our in our customer base. Unfortunately, I can't talk too much about this specific customers yet just because we're still finalizing and are going to be announcing some stuff, but we'd love to come back to announce [00:12:00] some stuff to you at some point.

[00:12:01] But I think there are there are a lot of use cases. I never thought I was gonna. Just have perspective on right. Being a mechanical engineer. I think the life sciences side of things is a really great opportunity in space where you can do things that you can manufacture organs, or you can produce new drugs that, I never thought I was going to be working in the life sciences area, but I absolutely love always having conference.

[00:12:21] People about those details and about how we can support those. Cause you know, one of my, one of my one of my exciting, one of the things I'm very excited about is when we are able to bring back the first organ that goes into a human that's going to be a really meaningful, powerful thing that demonstrates the value of space.

[00:12:36] I think there's often a in the popular media, there's a kind of a. Discounting of the value of space because it is it is not here on earth, and helping problems here on earth. And anyone who talks to anyone who's in the space industry knows that there is a lot of value that comes from it, but it's hard to see, so it's understandable why people may not see the value in going high frequency imaging over threat. It doesn't affect many people on a day-to-day basis. And GPS is such a more. [00:13:00] The thing that people, it's hard to grasp, but when you're able to see a capsule coming back with an organ that lands and gets directly transferred into a human and it saves their life, that's going to be magical.

[00:13:10] Oh yeah,

[00:13:11] Tim Chrisman: no. And you've talked about this, these return capsules in my head, I have this as it's a, a pre-addressed stamped envelope that goes up with the payload. But is that the case.

[00:13:26] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah. Great question. So highly depends on the use case for our capsules on how it actually, how the con ops work.

[00:13:31] The high level is that we're able to carry supplies up and down from space where they go once they're in a space is a different question. Are they going to a station? And then, Having the supplies brought onto the station having returned cargo brought back are they staying in orbit just as a free flyer, right?

[00:13:45] Are they, you're doing experiments on board or capsule independent of going to the station? Or are you using space as a transportation layer solely right. Where you're going up and then you're coming right back down to deliver supplies. So there's a variety of different ways that it works.

[00:13:58] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. [00:14:00] Okay. And so you're mentioning the free fliers. Is, does that mean you would, pre-position essentially empty capsules prepared to bring

[00:14:07] Justin Fiaschetti: things back? So yeah, the free flyer method is basically where we would launch our capsule into space with our payload already inside of it. So the payload would be, a life science customer who wants to do pharmaceutical research, for example research onboard of our capsule, independent of docking with any other any other station or system.

[00:14:24] And then we would be able to bring them back once they're done. So that's highly powerful for any testing or experiments that can't be done on space stations because of the human rating of stations. So high pressure systems is a great example or the looking into anything with radiation, right?

[00:14:39] There's a lot of exciting examples where having an induction. Basically a mini space station is highly beneficial

[00:14:45] Tim Chrisman: when I've, I've seen all the science fiction where you want to keep all those biohazard experiments and the zombie separate from the station. So it's perfect. They're exactly.

[00:14:54] Yeah. No, so that's that's cool. So it goes up, it's up there for a fixed amount of time. You [00:15:00] bring it back. That's a pretty, pretty exciting prospect, but you mentioned the docking. Does that mean you do have the capability to dock where they assume a variety of platforms?

[00:15:11] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah. So to highlight just to give an overview of what the capsules are.

[00:15:14] So they're about four feet in diameter designed to one launch on any. And to be flexible in what they're able to do once they go to orbit, why don't you go on any rockets, highly important for a high cadence return system, because when you're tied to a single rocket, you're subject to groundings of that launch vehicle, but also the schedule of that launch vehicle.

[00:15:31] So then once we're in orbit we want to be able to one of the biggest places to return supplies from is space stations, right? That is that is the standard. So we will be, we are planning to be able to dock with a variety of different different systems.

[00:15:44] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. And with that cadence, is there what are your projections?

[00:15:49] I would assume at this point you actually have a, probably a pretty good idea of the next 18 to 24 months of what

[00:15:55] Justin Fiaschetti: you're going to be doing. Yeah. In the next in the next, roughly 24 our focus right now is [00:16:00] actually on a slightly smaller capsule. It's about one foot in diameter.

[00:16:02] And that is our capability demonstrator. That's going to validate a lot of the technology that we're working on to go into that larger four foot diameter capsule. So that that one foot dimer capsule actually be launching in 2023. And then. Validating all of our systems and allowing us to build that confidence within the community.

[00:16:19] So then, w in that timeframe, we're also going to be focused a lot on the design of that larger capsule and that larger capsule whose name is arc. Arc will be flying in 2020.

[00:16:28] Tim Chrisman: Okay. Okay. And a lot of like Elan was just talking, he has to be able to launch a hundred starlings at once to avoid bankruptcy or some, rather hyperbolic claim.

[00:16:39] Is there a point in your cadence where it's we need to have this many launches and returns is at a minimum.

[00:16:47] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah. We have those as far as growth metrics where we want, how we want to be expanding the company. But we're very focused on building a default alive company.

[00:16:55] So that happens a lot in software where you're able to have a revenue [00:17:00] generating systems from the very beginning, whether that's ads or paying customers in hardware companies. Because it's large cap X to get up to speed. By staying small and lean as a company, we can actually get to those places and then grow from there.

[00:17:13] That doesn't mean that we are slowing growth down in any way. It's actually beneficial to growth because it means you can take more risks in other aspects. So staying small to start means that we can have a relatively low number of launches. Per year and still be, still be quote-unquote profitable.

[00:17:27] But obviously the goal is growth. So we have our internal metrics, the kind of the, one of the big goals is to get to a return per day, right? Every single day of the year, we're returning something. And that, that requires Multiple use cases within the next seven years or so to come to fruition.

[00:17:43] But that's the focus is getting to that cadence that require that, we architect our company around that, being able to manufacture these very quickly at a low cost, having reusability built in those are really important that you're bringing it back anyway, you might as well be able to fly it again.

[00:17:55] Tim Chrisman: Exactly. And Where can you, where are you looking to be able to land them? Is it, I [00:18:00] assume it's not the Amazon prime drone delivery where this lands outside of the hospital, but not yet,

[00:18:06] Justin Fiaschetti: not yet. So the the first missions we will be landing in, pretty traditional landing sites.

[00:18:10] They need large radiuses. You want to make sure you're well away from any population centers and stuff like that. The standard places are either off the coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. Or off the coast of Vanderburgh in California. But as we progress, right? One of the one of the pieces of logistics is also ground transportation, right?

[00:18:28] Once you get the supplies back. So we want to be able to land close to as close to our customers as possible. So there's a a lot of work between now and then to basically allow for have a high confidence interval on where we're going to land. And but that's the focus. So to start will be mainly off the coast.

[00:18:42] Okay.

[00:18:43] Tim Chrisman: Okay. So it's not necessarily, got a bunch of retro firing rockets slowing into a perfect landing Allah Falcon nine or

[00:18:50] Justin Fiaschetti: something. Ah, yeah. Yeah. It's a similar situation as how dragon lands, deploying parachutes to softly touchdown. And like for example, Starliner is able to land on.

[00:18:59] It has those [00:19:00] airbags or a new shepherd has the retro, retro cold gas. Thrusters is actually able, you are able to land on land without the need for a a decelerator at the very last second and softly land. You just have to be thoughtful on how you do your parachute system, have that soft landing. The long-term the long-term focus of the company, especially on a lot of the transportation methods, as accurate as landing as possible, let's have a number of use cases that we're really excited about.

[00:19:29] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. Bet. And I'm sure FedEx or ups will be an exciting partner a few years down the road out to get them in a bidding more to, see which one wants to be the first space Related company.

[00:19:40] Absolutely. Absolutely. That's pretty cool now, you're there at your facility outside Los Angeles. Is that right?

[00:19:47] Justin Fiaschetti: So we're in Torrance. So we're in the, we're like in south bay area of LA. Maybe 15 minutes from Hawthorne.

[00:19:53] Tim Chrisman: Okay. I'm nodding. Like I know what that is.

[00:19:55] Justin Fiaschetti: There's a great skit on SNL called the California. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommended [00:20:00] basically. It's everyone in California in LA always talks about all the different roads that they take, take the four or five to one 10 or whatever. And there's a great skit on SNL about.

[00:20:08] Tim Chrisman: Oh, nice. Yeah. Here in Virginia, some of the roads are being renamed. It turns out naming them after Confederates is not a cool thing anymore, but like I don't know the names of the roads to start with. People are upset about the change in some places I'm like, I don't know. It's still it's that

[00:20:26] Justin Fiaschetti: right?

[00:20:26] Yeah. I grew up in the, I grew up in the Northeast, in New Jersey and went to school, obviously went to school in Boston. And a lot of the, a lot of that area is just numbered roads and the exits are all numbered, which is amazing. I don't perfect. Yeah. Some places don't do that. I don't know.

[00:20:40] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. No I don't understand how numbered. Always a thing, but yeah, you say to you're from Boston, you're so polite and nice, which is weird.

[00:20:51] Justin Fiaschetti: I'm not used to that from that Jersey and Boston, you wouldn't expect it, right? No.

[00:20:55] Tim Chrisman: I've seen documentaries like Jersey shore, so I feel [00:21:00] like you're one of the good ones, I

[00:21:01] Justin Fiaschetti: guess.

[00:21:01] I appreciate it. My parents would love to hear that.

[00:21:03] Tim Chrisman: But yeah. Oh so talking about your manufacturing facility what's the, like biggest challenge to actually making these because as I would guess, this is not been done. We've made big ones that come back for people, this specific application is not a.

[00:21:19] Justin Fiaschetti: That's right. Yeah. The biggest challenge in general, with the design and also the manufacturing is the miniaturization of all of the parts, right? So when you have a large vehicle, you can you can fit more capability in a larger space, right? So we need to fit that same capability in a much smaller space.

[00:21:36] So a lot of the work that we are doing is focused on volume of. Most rockets are generally focused on mass efficiency. Cause that's really the big thing. We're very focused on volume efficiency where we are sometimes mass limited, but mass is mainly focused on the launch for the reentry. We are relatively safe on the mass side of things.

[00:21:53] Manufacturing, a very small parts but also making highly optimized structures and propulsion systems and stuff [00:22:00] like that enable a highly compact vehicle because the more space we have. The more customers we can fit on board. Most customers are generally volume limited for what we're working on, but it's actually, there's some really cool benefits of being at the scale.

[00:22:12] We are. One is that a lot of manufacturing methods are open to us that aren't previously open. So when you go with a 12 foot diameter capsule, right? The main area. Generally, it's going to have to be manufactured out of multiple pieces that are then welded together in some form.

[00:22:27] We actually, we're at the scale, especially for our smaller capsule where we can, we can look at single billet materials where we're taking a trunk of aluminum, a chunk of stainless steel, top chunk of titanium, depending on the park. And actually machining. Peace out of that, that generally isn't something that you want to do for high volume manufacturing, but it's really convenient for initial prototyping and initial design, because you don't have to build out an entire manufacturing facility to start manufacturing.

[00:22:53] It also, there's some cool stuff you can do, which w around 3d printing aparts. Where where, we're at the scale where a lot of [00:23:00] parts can be 3d printed, should they need to be not always the best way to go for us at our scale, just from a mass and from a complexity of manufacturing point of view, but a lot of cool stuff on the manufacturing side.

[00:23:11] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no. And as you're describing milling these out of single pieces of metal That, that sounds very similar. And so I looked at like your woodworking sites, I would assume, looks fairly similar to some of the pieces that you used to do in the woodworking.

[00:23:27] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah. So it actually is a perfect analogy.

[00:23:29] And I'll start to dance to the depths of woodworking terminology. So I'll try to keep it. I'll try to keep it pretty high level, but when you're built, when you're making a bowl there's a couple of different ways you can build a bowl. One of those is having just a block of wood where you put it onto a lake and you use a variety of tools to gouge out the material, right?

[00:23:46] It's effectively subtractive manufacturing and where you're removing mask. Molding a shape out of that piece of wood. And that is really tremendous for when you have beautiful pieces of wood, whether they have where they have incredible textures and incredible colors. Other [00:24:00] ways though, you can do it.

[00:24:00] And a lot of the pieces that I was really excited about is what's called segmented. So segmented what turning is actually using small blocks of wood in variety of patterns to build the skeleton of a bowl first. And then you just clean up the edges. So you can think of this as as somewhat of an additive manufacturing process, even though it's not pure additive.

[00:24:21] But you are combining a bunch of pieces that allows for incredible patterns and incredible things. Now the, to bring it back to the the Th the segment of what turning is the most efficient use of material, which means you're generally able to get away with a lower cost per bowl, for example.

[00:24:37] And that will be the same for large scale manufacturing for for in version, right? You want to limit the amount of material that you have to actually remove from a time perspective and from a cost perspective. But the the. If you want to just make something quick and make it make it easy, you start off with a block of material and then you remove it.

[00:24:53] But yeah, the a lot of the, a lot of similar design philosophies go into a high-end woodworking as it [00:25:00] does with high-end aerospace engineering.

[00:25:02] Tim Chrisman: Interesting. So when you're saying there's a lot of that cross application for people who either or professionally do woodworking.

[00:25:12] Is there then a role for them in manufacturing, whether it's, for companies like yours or other space companies that you've worked at, or,

[00:25:20] Justin Fiaschetti: yeah. So I think that there's there's a lot of really transferable skills from a professional woodworker to professional machinists. Let's say you're dealing with a lot of this, a lot of the.

[00:25:31] Types of types of things. I would put it as a formula. One driver can flex to being a rally car driver or rally car driver can flex to being a indie car driver, for example where a lot of the basic skills and kind of the touch and feel the unquantifiable nature of the profession are the same right.

[00:25:49] Hearing how a bit is vibrating when you're machining apart and woodworking and machining is very similar. So I think if, if there are people that want to get into. Aerospace, right? They demonstrating the [00:26:00] ability to make things as a fantastic way to get a foot in.

[00:26:04] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no. And now you've just given me another example of that is when I talk with people, because we do a lot of workforce development stuff at the foundation, and I mentioned at community colleges, Hey, if you can weld the wrench, you can weld the rocket. Now I guess if you can machine a bowl, you can machine a return.

[00:26:23] Justin Fiaschetti: Exactly. Yeah. A lot of that, a lot of the things transfer and I think you hit on a perfect point right? On the, on workforce development. I think that's something that's really important, not just on the the engineer side on the, we need 10 engineers and that's it, but there's a lot of potentially a majority of, depending on the company of the workforce is on.

[00:26:42] Is, are non-engineers right? Whether that be technicians, machinists administrative side of things and especially high, really high quality machinists and and technicians are hard to come by. Cause it's such a unique skill set to have and building those there's a lot of ways you can go to about building them out, but they're really great [00:27:00] careers and really high paying jobs that, we're excited to be providing.

[00:27:03] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no. And I saw it, and you all's website, you're hiring and your point about the workforce development, you can train an engineer in about four years. It takes better part of 10 to 15 to train a master machinist. We don't really think about, they're like, oh no, get, go to school, get a college degree kid.

[00:27:21] Maybe that's not always the best thing.

[00:27:23] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah, I had I had deeply considered focusing on woodworking out of high school. That was something like I, people had, people kept talking to me about Hey, you you have this like skill you should think about pursuing it.

[00:27:34] On my side I knew I wanted to get into engineering and I wanted to. Go down the entrepreneurship route at some point. But you're absolutely right. It takes quite a while to master these types of these types of systems. And it's a lot easier to design a highly complex part than it is to make a highly complex part.

[00:27:48] So an engineer four years out of school actually likely will default to making a complex part rather than a rather than a simple. But that means that it's very hard to manufacture in those companies, the people that have the final say or the engineers. [00:28:00] So it's it is on the machinists to a lot of times to help guide engineers and simple manufacturing.

[00:28:06] But I bet there's probably a really cool way that that there could be like higher precision or More efficient ways to train machinists technicians, stuff like that, such that we can compact that 10, 15 years into, a rigorous four-year degree. Imagine you come out after four years as a master machine, as you can make $150,000 a year or something in that ballpark, working on these incredibly advanced systems.

[00:28:29] I bet a lot of people would be really excited. Oh,

[00:28:31] Tim Chrisman: yeah, no, I've talked with a handful of virtual reality companies who are trying to do just that sort of thing. Right now they're working with like police departments and some other ones, but doing that trades training is something they're looking to expand into because yeah.

[00:28:48] You put somebody in a room and they can do VR for eight hours a day, practicing this, their hands are doing it. They have haptic feedback like that you can condense a lot of experience that [00:29:00] way before they ever even touch metal. Yeah, I think

[00:29:02] Justin Fiaschetti: That's a fantastic like future that we're going to have both for high school and for college and for post or post-graduate education.

[00:29:09] You take a high school, right? Maybe they can't have, they're not comfortable having a automotive shop for liability reasons or for safety reasons or the space that they need. But there are a lot of, getting that early experience is highly valuable. So if you can buy a couple.

[00:29:23] VR headsets, maybe totals 200 to 2000, $3,000 with a decent amount of money, especially for a lot of schools is a lot less than setting up an automotive shop, but you can get a lot of the same learnings. Do you want to learn how to change the sway bar? Change the sway bar on a Miata?

[00:29:38] Like you could probably do that through VR rather than spending the money on a, on that actual.

[00:29:42] Tim Chrisman: Yeah. And when you mess up it's not awkward plain, why you just broke a $10,000 part

[00:29:48] Justin Fiaschetti: through button. Yeah,

[00:29:49] Tim Chrisman: exactly. Yeah, and I mentioned this earlier, I looked at some of the woodworking you had done really good.

[00:29:53] So it doesn't surprise me at all that coming out of high school, people were like, dude, you're really good at this. You should do it. It looked like some of this stuff [00:30:00] you did was almost. By request or custom pieces what was the coolest thing you ever got to know?

[00:30:06] Justin Fiaschetti: So I think the, there are two parts, there are two pieces.

[00:30:10] I'm the most proud of. The one, the F the first one is a rocking chair that I made in my senior year. I would spend. Too many hours a day working in the woodshop during school instead of going to class for to build that rocking chair. It's a, Maloof inspired and rocking chair with some of my own twists in it.

[00:30:29] And a Maloof chair, Maloof is a woodworker basically pioneered a type of a style of woodworking and a style of furniture and is the most comfortable chair I have ever seen. More comfortable than more comfortable than a bunch of pillows, more comfortable than being bacteria, because I I literally molded it exactly to myself.

[00:30:47] And it was just an absolute, like I, that was something I'll have for the rest of my life. The other one is what I call the European decanter. So it's basically a segmented would would turn to canter. It has. Maybe over a thousand pieces, I believe. [00:31:00] And that's actually in a in a private art collectors show showpiece area in in England, which is very exciting.

[00:31:06] Those were the most exciting. I always, whenever I would get a request for a piece and most of the pieces I would do is just like self inspired, just because I want to continuously one on myself and oh, I made this, I can make something better now. And for the. The satisfaction of the completion of something, but whenever someone would make, would give a request to.

[00:31:23] Request a piece. I would always try to go like 10 X above what they wanted. People want a cabinet. So I made them at I forgot the style name right now, but I had like zebra wood in lays with all sorts of exotic woods and I'm not sure it was profitable, but it was like beautiful and it like made them incredibly happy.

[00:31:38] And I wasn't doing, I was, I was going to make that part anyway. For someone to be able to enjoy

[00:31:41] Tim Chrisman: no, that's a good point. And for our listeners the Maloof chair is near, as I can tell from Google images appears to be the quintessential Americana rocking chair, but comfy it looks like it's molded to the body rather than just.

[00:31:57] Sort of that hard thing. And I guess Reagan [00:32:00] and Carter were two people who had them use them in like political ads and stuff like that for their Americana feel. They looked like really nice chairs and I really liked the idea of it being molded to your body. That is pretty cool.

[00:32:13] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah, they're fantastic.

[00:32:15] They the back rest of them actually flex and pivot to like mold to your back. That's

[00:32:21] Tim Chrisman: amazing. And not yeah, I don't know that I've ever said that about a wooden piece of furniture. But that's impressive. Is there anything we missed that we didn't talk about?

[00:32:29] Justin Fiaschetti: I think there's obviously plenty of stuff we can always go over on inversion side we are we are, an early stage company, where we were, we just raised our seed round, which is incredibly exciting coming out of Y Combinator. And now we're scaling up, right? So the biggest challenges are ahead of us. And we're really excited to be executing at a high pace. There's really, there's nothing like working at a startup at our scale where you have massive impact on on the vision of the company, on the actual maturity of systems.

[00:32:55] When we reenter our first capsule, it's going to be awesome for our engineers to see. Yeah. Hey, that [00:33:00] entire thing that's me. That's that entire propulsion system and entire structures. I did that or had a major hand in it. And so that's really exciting. And, as you mentioned, we're hiring across the board and scaling up the company, really looking for tremendous engineers to work in.

[00:33:12] Work environment. And yet the there's a lot of great stuff happening on the commercial side and on the defense side that we're working on, I'm excited to share some cool stuff coming up soon.

[00:33:21] Tim Chrisman: Yeah, no, definitely gonna need to have you back. When you're announcing some of these deals that are coming up because I can I can definitely see an exciting future here.

[00:33:32] And I'm definitely excited to hear about, when the first recovery is going to be watched that, so that's that's going to be a huge milestone. I don't, I'm excited to watch it.

[00:33:42] Justin Fiaschetti: Absolutely. Yeah. I really appreciate it. Yeah. Thank you so much. Yeah. Thanks

[00:33:46] Tim Chrisman: for being on here today.

[00:33:47] Justin Fiaschetti: Yeah, thank you so much.

[00:33:48] And thank you for everything you're doing in the community. It's really important. And it's awesome to have, these advocates, people bring stories like you are. And we really appreciate it. Thanks Justin. Awesome. Take care. Bye.[00:34:00]

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