Tom Sachs Rocket Factory is a sculptor-inspired space NFT project which has evolved into an out-of-this-world ecosystem. It’s the genesis NFT project from New York contemporary artist Tom Sachs. This community has gone from minting free NFT patches to assembling the parts for their NFT rockets, and then watching their physical rockets get launched in real life.
Tom Sachs’ imagination has taken collectors into a metaverse Mars to collect rocks, brought them together for real life events and launches across the world, and has continued to surprise holders with massive partnerships and announcements.
So how did Tom Sachs Rocket Factory get started, and where does the Rocket Factory go after the launches?
What is Tom Sachs Rocket Factory?
Tom Sachs is a NYC-based contemporary sculptor that often blurs the lines between mass produced and handmade. His works are in major museums around the world including the Guggenheim and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and he has partnered with massive brands through his career. His deep fascination with space led him to create the Rocket Factory.
On July 23, 2021, Tom Sachs released a free-to-mint Test Flight Crew Patch which would act as an early mint opportunity for the main Rocket Factory collection. Just ahead of this launch, Tom Sachs released a whitepaper which outlined his views on Web3 and the NFT ecosystem. This would be the basis for how the Rocket Factory would be built.
According to the whitepaper, “Tom Sachs Rocket Factory is a trans-dimensional manufacturing plant.” The project was one of the first and biggest to experiment with burning NFTs to create new NFTs.
The Ethereum NFT project is a collection of 1,000 hand-drawn rockets with 113,500+ trait combination possibilities, launched on August 1, 2021. The Rocket Factory NFTs are made up of three components which are burned when assembling the final rocket.
Rocket Components and Traits
Rockets are made up of a nose cone, body, and tail. Only 1,000 complete rockets can be made with the 3,000 components that were launched. Each component features a well-known brand’s logo and color scheme.
The parts are branded with 1-of-30 brands, also with varying rarities. 100 components have 10 types of available special stickers on them, making them ultra rare. The brands which only have 3 components each in the collection are: Apple, Coca-Cola, Miami Vice, Tiffany & Co., Purple, and Yoda.
There are two types of rockets: a Perfect Rocket and a Frankenrocket. Appropriately named, Perfect Rockets are made up of three matching parts, or that they are mismatched. Tom Sachs has hinted that based on the brand type of the Perfect Rocket — or creativity making a Frankenrocket — there would be future surprises involved.
Completed launched rockets have a floor of 3.45 Ethereum at the time of this post. Unlaunched rockets command a premium at a 6 Ethereum floor. 907 rockets have been fully built, out of the possible 1,000. Components have a floor of 1 Ethereum each.
There have been massive sales of rarer rocket components and assembled rockets. An Apple body component was sold for 110 Ethereum in August 2021. In April 2022, Tiffany & Co. purchased their Perfect Rocket for 115 Ethereum.
Phase I: Physical Rockets
The rockets aren’t just NFTs — they are physical, handmade, small-scale rockets which are launched into the sky. The physical rocket is an exact replica of the assembled NFT rocket, created by Tom Sachs himself.
If the rocket can be retrieved, it bolsters the utility of the original rocket NFT — the owner is shipped the physical rocket (which has been launched), and the video of it being launched. This all for a cost of just 0.1 Ethereum. Owners are invited to the launch event if they can make it. On August 28, 2021, the first ten rockets were launched.
When a rocket is launched or pending, there is a metadata change to the NFT and a visual addition of fire under the tail. Rockets are available for purchase on secondary or on the Rocket Factory’s native marketplace. The final physical rocket launch was on August 1, 2022 — there will be no more rocket launches.
Phase II: Mothership and Mars Rocks
Phase II of the project kicked off in March 2022, with the claiming of Mothership ticket NFTs for existing Tom Sachs Rocket Factory holders. According to the Medium post, “In Phase II, our Rockets will rendezvous with the Mothership, travel to Mars, mine the surface, extract its resources, and return to Earth laden with Mars Rock NFTs.”
The number of stickers that a rocket has correlated to the number of free Mothership Ticket NFTs one could claim. In May 2022, the details of the mission to Mars were released. Ticket NFT holders were airdropped a Spacesuit MMU JetpackWearable and invited to mine for Mars Rocks in the metaverse.
5,000 possible Mars Rocks could be minted that week in May, with 15 different rock types available. The rest would go on sale in a public mint on June 1, 2022. Future use for the rocks is to be announced.
Tom Sachs x Nike Partnership
Nike is one of the brands on these hand-drawn rockets, and Tom Sachs announced that he worked with the giant brand to design a pair of Nike sneakers — the Tom Sachs General Purpose Sneaker. He had already worked with Nike for over 10 years, and this shoe marked that milestone.
The shoes did not launch on the Nike SNKRS app, but on Tom Sach’s website instead, for a price of $109 each. They are described as “an understated do-everything shoe created to work with every possible scenario.”
In June 2022, those who owned rockets with a NikeCraft component could claim a pair for free. Another General Purpose sneakers colorway, “Archive”, was free-to-claim for NikeCraft component holders during a 15-minute window on September 1.
This is one example of how branded rockets may derive future rewards for NFT holders.
There have been many sales on popular shoe marketplace StockX for the General Purpose shoe, which are now at a price of around $250 each.
TL;DR — Tom Sachs Rocket Factory
The roadmap for 2022 is detailed below, which includes the launch of Phase III. Tom Sachs Rocket Factory has a lot planned for the Rocket League community. Pioneering bridging digital to IRL experiences and highly interactive metaverse missions seems to be just the beginning.
The Tom Sachs Rocket Factory ecosystem is a great example of how artists in traditional mediums can bridge to Web3 and NFTs to provide additional value, and secure new sources of revenue. The project has also connected digital art to rare physical items — an aspect of NFTs that will continue to grow.
The Tom Sachs Rocket Factory community is extremely passionate about upcoming missions, phases, the art, and opportunities to meet IRL or in the metaverse.
The image for this blog was created by Dall-E 2 by OpenAI.