World’s first 3D-printed rocket fails to reach space on third launch

Tampa, Florida (WFLA) — Aerospace company Relativity Space launched the world’s first 3D-printed rocket from Space Force Station Cape Canaveral on Wednesday.

A private company launched a Terran 1 rocket dubbed “GLHF” (Good Luck, Have Fun) at 11:25 p.m. from the former missile site, Launch Complex 16.

The rocket was launched, but failed to reach orbit in space. Her two stages of the rocket separated, but the upper stage appeared to catch fire and stalled, crashing into the Atlantic Ocean.

“First launches are always exciting and today’s flight was no exception,” said Arwa Tizani Kelly, launch commentator for Relativity Space, after Wednesday’s launch, despite the upper stage malfunctioning. rice field.

Relativity Space said it still considers the launch a success. The aerospace company wrote on his Twitter: This is the greatest proof of our new additive manufacturing approach. Today was a big win and many historic firsts. We also advanced the cutoff of the main engine and the separation of the stages. We will evaluate the flight data and publish an update soon. #GoodLuckHadFun”

Six years ago, Relativity’s first metal 3D print was the only one installed during a rocket test flight. This was his third attempt to launch Terran 1. Earlier this month, the rocket was abruptly scrubbed just half a second after launch.

Terran 1, a two-stage, 110-foot-tall, 7.5-foot-wide expendable rocket, is the largest 3D-printed object in existence to attempt orbital flight, says Relativity.

“Working toward our goal of 95% 3D printing, Relativity’s first Terran 1 vehicle is 85% 3D printed by mass.” said on its website“The Terran 1 has nine ion engines in the first stage and one ion Baku in the second stage.”

Like the body of the rocket, its engine is also 3D printed and uses liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid natural gas (LNG), according to Relativity. These are great for rocket propulsion as well as being reusable and ultimately the easiest to migrate. to methane on Mars.

Relativity Space was founded in 2015 by two young aerospace engineers. The company has attracted the attention of his venture capitalists and investors, including early investor Mark He Cuban of ‘Shark Tank’.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. World’s first 3D-printed rocket fails to reach space on third launch

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