After failing the first and second attempt, the Terran 1—world’s first 3D-printed rocket, was launched successfully on its third attempt on Wednesday, but despite sustained efforts, it failed to achieve orbit during second-stage separation, according to AFP.
“Today’s launch proved Relativity’s 3D-printed rocket technologies that will enable our next vehicle, Terran R. We successfully made it through Max-Q, the highest stress state on our printed structures. This is the biggest proof point for our novel additive manufacturing approach. Today is a huge win, with many historic firsts,” Relativity Space, the company behind Terran 1, said in a tweet.
“We also progressed through Main Engine Cutoff and Stage Separation. We will assess flight data and provide public updates over the coming days,” the company added.
Today’s launch proved Relativity’s 3D-printed rocket technologies that will enable our next vehicle, Terran R. We successfully made it through Max-Q, the highest stress state on our printed structures. This is the biggest proof point for our novel additive manufacturing approach.… pic.twitter.com/9iaFVwYoqe— Relativity Space (@relativityspace) March 23, 2023
Relativity Space’s goal—with rockets like the Terran 1—is to create a rocket that is 95% 3D printed. Terran 1’s engines are powered using liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas, which are considered the “propellants of the future,” and are capable of eventually fueling a voyage to Mars, Relativity Space claims.
According to AFP, the Terran 1 was not carrying a payload for its first flight, but it will eventually be capable of putting up to 2,755 pounds (1,250 kilograms) into low Earth orbit. The rocket is 110 feet (33.5 meters) tall with a diameter of 7.5 feet (2.2 meters). According to Relativity Space, 85% of its mass is 3D printed with metal alloys, including the nine Aeon 1 engines on its first stage and the one Aeon Vacuum engine on its second stage. It is the largest ever 3D printed object and is made with the world’s largest 3D metal printers.