A 3D-printed rocket is stacked on a platform for its first launch

Inspenet, February 14, 2023

California, USA-based private American aerospace company Relativity Space fully assembled the two stages of its 3D-printed expendable Terran 1 rocket on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral ahead of its first mission. “Getting ready for final ground tests, launch feels real. […] We’re back! [en posición] vertical!!”, wrote the company’s CEO, Tim Ellis, on his Twitter account.

On the company portal they report that this mission is called ‘Good luck, have fun’ (GLHF) and it will be a key orbital test for Terran 1, before it flies with customer payloads. The company claims its 33.5-meter-long, 2.28-meter-wide throwaway rocket, 85% 3D-printed, is “the largest 3D-printed object in existence that attempts orbital flight.” Its goal will be to create 95% 3D printed Terran 1 rockets.

Photo : Relativity Space

Relativity also reports that Terran 1 has nine Aeon engines in its first stage and one Aeon Vac in its second stage, all 3D printed. These engines are among the best that currently exist, as they use liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas as propellants. This feature also makes them advantageous for the Martian space program, as they would be the easiest to eventually transition to methane.

The Terran 1 can deliver a maximum payload of up to 1,250kg to low Earth orbit. Space.com reports that, barring all issues, it is possible that Terran 1 will launch this month.

Relativity is also working on its new Terran R rocket, also 3D printed. It is fully reusable, including its engines, first stage, second stage, and its charging module. It will be capable of launching more than 20,000 kg into low Earth orbit. Terran R could launch in 2024 and will eventually also offer customers a space freighter capable of missions between Earth, Moon and Mars.

Source Actualidad RT in Spanish : https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/457671-apilan-cohete-impreso-3d-plataforma-lanzamiento

Photo : Relativity Space

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