World's first 3D printed rocket ready for inaugural flight
The rocket is 33.5 meters tall, has a diameter of 7.5 feet (2.2 meters), and 85 percent of its bulk, including the engines, is 3D printed with metal alloys.
The world's first 3D-printed rocket is set to launch from Florida on Saturday, marking the inaugural flight of an innovative spacecraft that is said to be less expensive to construct and fly.
Liftoff of the rocket, Terran 1, had been scheduled for Wednesday at Cape Canaveral but was delayed at the last minute because of propellant temperature issues.
The new launch window for the rocket created by California aerospace startup Relativity Space to place satellites into orbit is on Saturday from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (1800 GMT to 2100 GMT).
Business. As. Usual. Yet still extraordinary.— Max Evans (@_mgde_) March 10, 2023
Slow-motion video of B1062.13 descending towards LZ-1 behind LC-16 and Terran-1 following its mission for @OneWeb.
Taken from LC-34, you can hear the excitement from those lucky enough to watch from this perspective. pic.twitter.com/bMTu9mNPn3
Terran 1 is scheduled to reach low Earth orbit eight minutes after launch to collect data and demonstrate that it can resist the rigors of liftoff and space flight.
If the rocket achieves low Earth orbit on its first attempt, it will be the first privately-funded vehicle employing methane fuel to accomplish so, as per Relativity.
The Terran 1 rocket will not carry a payload on its inaugural flight, but it will eventually be capable of delivering up to 1,250 kilograms into low Earth orbit.
The rocket is 33.5 meters tall, has a diameter of 7.5 feet (2.2 meters), and 85% of its bulk, including the engines, is 3D printed with metal alloys.
According to the Long Beach-based company, it is the largest 3D-printed object ever. The company's goal is to construct a rocket that is 95% 3D printed.
Terran 1 is propelled by Aeon engines that run on liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas – the "propellants of the future," according to Relativity, capable of powering a Mars mission. It is worth noting that United Launch Alliance's Vulcan rockets and SpaceX's Starship both use the same fuel.
Terran 1 has nine 3D-printed Aeon 1 engines and one 3D-printed Aeon Vacuum engine in its first stage.
Relativity is also developing Terran R, a larger rocket capable of delivering a payload of 44,000 pounds (20,000 kgs) into low Earth orbit.
Read more: A Briton to Receive First 3D-Printed Prosthetic Eye