Relativity Space launches world’s first additively manufactured rocket, but Terran 1 fails to reach orbit

March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023

Relativity Space has launched its Terran 1, the world’s first additively manufactured rocket, from Cape Canaveral (Courtesy Relativity Space)
Relativity Space has launched its Terran 1, the world’s first additively manufactured rocket, from Cape Canaveral (Courtesy Relativity Space)

Relativity Space, Long Beach, California, USA, launched its Terran 1, the world’s first additively manufactured rocket, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The spacecraft however, which was tagged “GLHF” (Good Luck, Have Fun), didn’t make it into orbit due to a failure with the upper stage engine after a successful stage separation.

Despite this, the team at Relativity found many positives. “Today is a huge win, with many historic firsts,” the company said in a tweet, adding that it will asses the flight data and provide updates in the coming days.

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The two-stage, 34 m tall and 2.3 m wide rocket is the largest additively manufactured object to attempt orbital flight. Working towards its goal of being 95% additively manufactured, Relativity’s first Terran 1 vehicle was 85% additively manufactured by mass. The Terran 1 has nine Aeon engines in its first stage, and one Aeon Vac in its second stage.

“No one’s ever attempted to launch a 3D-printed rocket into orbit,” stated Arwa Tizani Kelly, technical programme manager for test and launch at Relativity, during a livestream. “And while we didn’t make it all the way today, we gathered enough data to show that flying 3D printed rockets is possible.”

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March 23, 2023

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