Relativity Space presents a third demonstration of a 3D-printed rocket launch


California-based Relativity Space conducts a test flight of the world's first 3D-printed rocket, Terran 1

California-based Relativity Space conducts a test flight of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket, Terran 1.

The world’s first 3D-printed rocket is set to make its third take-off attempt on Wednesday in the first flight of an innovative spacecraft billed as less expensive to produce and fly.

the Unmanned missileThe launch, Terran 1, was scheduled for March 8 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, but was delayed at the last minute due to fuel temperature problems.

The second attempt on March 11th was canceled due to fuel pressure problems.

Relativity Space, a California private aerospace company rockethe hopes the third time will be the charm.

The company’s three-hour launch window begins at 10:00 PM ET on Wednesday (0200 GMT Thursday).

Once lifted off, Terran 1 is set to reach low Earth orbit eight minutes later for a flight intended to collect data and prove that a 3D-printed rocket can withstand the rigors of liftoff and space flights.

If the rocket can reach low Earth orbit, it will be the first privately funded vehicle to use methane fuel to do so on its first attempt, according to Relativity.

Terran 1 does not carry a payload on its first flight, but the rocket will eventually be able to put up to 2,755 pounds (1,250 kg) into low Earth orbit.

The missile is 110 feet (33.5 m) tall and 7.5 feet (2.2 m) in diameter.

Eighty-five percent of its mass is 3D-printed with alloys, including nine Aeon 1 engines in its first stage and an Aeon Vacuum engine in its second stage.

It’s the largest 3D-printed object ever, according to the Long Beach-based company, and it’s made, they say, with the world’s largest metal 3D printers.

Tim Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO, Relativity Space

Tim Ellis, Co-Founder and CEO, Relativity Space.

Built in 60 days

Relativity’s goal is to produce a 95% 3D printed rocket.

Terran 1 is powered by engines that use liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas — “future thrusters” capable of eventually fueling a trip to Mars, says Relativity.

SpaceX’s Starship and Vulcan rockets developed by the United Launch Alliance use the same fuel.

Relativity is also building a larger rocket, the Terran R, capable of placing a payload of up to 44,000 pounds (20,000 kg) into low Earth orbit.

The first Terran R vehicle, designed to be fully reusable, is scheduled for launch next year.

a satellite operator It could be waiting years for a spot on an Arianespace or SpaceX rocket, and Relativity Space hopes to speed up the schedule with its 3D-printed rockets.

Relativity said its 3D-printed rockets use 100 times fewer parts than conventional rockets and can be built from raw materials in just 60 days.

Relativity has signed $1.65 billion worth of commercial launch contracts, mostly for the Terran R, according to CEO Tim Ellis, who co-founded the company in 2015.

© 2023 AFP

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