Relativity Space has published a video. It demonstrates the successful test firing of the first stage of the Terran 1 rocket printed on a 3D printer.
Relativity Space was founded in 2015. Its management has made a bet on the creation of rockets that will be completely printed on 3D printers. According to the designers’ idea, such an innovation will radically speed up the process of building carriers, which in turn will significantly reduce their cost. For this purpose, the company has acquired the world’s largest printer designed for metal printing.
Terran 1 is the first Relativity Space orbital rocket. It has a two-stage design. Its height is 35.2 meters, its diameter is 2.3 meters. The first stage of the Terran 1 is equipped with nine Aeon engines, the second with one Aeon Vac engine, which are also printed on a 3D printer. The rocket will be able to carry up to 1,250 kg of cargo into low Earth orbit (LEO). The cost of one launch is estimated at USD 12 million.
Successful test firing of Terran 1
In early June 2022, the first stage of the Terran 1 rocket was delivered to Cape Canaveral. After completing all the necessary checks, the engineers carried out its complete test firing. It lasted 20 seconds and ended with success. This gives the company the opportunity to proceed with the first orbital test of Terran 1 (Good Luck, Have Fun mission). Earlier, Relativity Space reported that it would take place before the end of summer, but apparently, the company postponed the launch date.
It is worth noting that in case of a successful launch, Terran 1 can go down in history not only as the first 3D-printed orbital rocket. The fact is that the carrier uses methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidizer. Thus, Relativity Space has a good chance to get ahead of SpaceX’s Starship and write Terran 1 into history as the first methane rocket to reach orbit.
You can also read about Relativity Space’s plans to develop the first private Mars mission.
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