The first 3D printed rocket failed to take off, despite several attempts

Companies wishing to find a place in the less and less closed world of aerospace compete in ingenuity to offer ever less costly, and therefore more profitable, orbiting solutions. Last week, Relativity Space wanted to demonstrate that it is possible to build rockets with 3D printers.

terran relativity space rocket
Credit: Relativity Space

After several unsuccessful attempts to launch Terran 1, its two-stage launch vehicle, Relativity Space had to give up the mission called “Good Luck, Have Fun”. However, the stakes were enormous for the space startup founded in 2015. It uses3D printing for the manufacture of components for its launchers spatial. By putting its rocket into orbit from Cape Canaveral, the company wanted to demonstrate that its construction process is more economical and more reliable.

To read – SpaceX: Elon Musk announces that the Starship rocket will take off for the first time in March 2023

It missed. That said, Relativity Space may have avoided the worst. Terran 1 nearly took off, but within half a second of liftoff, the system detected a problem and initiated an abort procedure. The rocket engines had already ignited, ready to propel Terran 1 into the air. If the rocket had actually taken off, it would probably have been damaged.

Despite several attempts by Relativity Space, the launch of the first 3D printed rocket failed

Saturday’s aborted launch concluded a black week for Relativity Space. It should have propelled Terran 1 for the first time on Wednesday, March 8. The operation proved impossible due to a faulty pump on the ground which prevented proper cooling of the fuel supply. And the tiles are linked together. One failed attempt was due to too strong a wind, another to rocket software that was not up to datewhile a boat that got too close to the launch base caused yet another interruption this Saturday.

Terran 1 can put a little over a ton of gear into low Earth orbit. In terms of capacity and price, knowing that such a launch costs $12 millionit competes directly with SpaceX’s mid-size launch vehicle, the Falcon 9.

Source : Space

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