First 3D-printed rocket to make second launch attempt from Florida this weekend
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After being scrubbed on Wednesday, Relativity Space will try again this Saturday to launch the world's first 3D-printed rocket from Florida's Space Coast.
The one-of-a-kind rocket – known as Good Luck, Have Fun Terran 1 – is now set to liftoff from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on March 11 during a 3-hour launch window that opens at 1 p.m.
Space fans who gathered on Wednesday to watch the liftoff had to go home disappointed after the launch was scrubbed. Officials said it was because it exceeded the launch criteria limits for the propellant thermal conditions on the second stage of the rocket. The scrub announcement also came close to the end of the rocket's launch window.
The launch, also known as the "Good Luck Have Fun" Mission, is the first orbital attempt for Terran 1. It’s a big deal in the aerospace world because it is taking a simplified and reusable approach to rocket launches.
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A rocket normally takes two years or more to build, but this can be done in two months.
Standing at 110 feet tall and 7.5 feet wide, the Terran 1 is the largest 3D-printed object to exist and attempt orbital flight, officials have said.
About %85 of it is 3D-printed and uses liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas, which scientists say is not only best for rocket propulsion, but also for reusability. Looking ahead, it would be the easiest to eventually transition to methane found on Mars.
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In December, FOX 35 spoke with Patrick Svatek of Relativity Space about the first test launch.
"It has taken a while to get here. A lot of people across the company, a lot of contract and government support to get to this point, and it is super exciting. The energy here that you feel today, the last few days, is incredible," he said.
Compared to a traditional rocket that has more than 100,000 parts, this 3D-printed rocket has less than 1,000 parts. There is no payload on board this rocket right now.
The rocket's launch will be a learning experience and may require some tweaking down the road, but is set to make history as it attempts its first orbital flight.