Launch of the world's first 3D-printed rocket

 On Wednesday, a methane-fueled, 3D-printed rocket will attempt to launch into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Relativity Space, a startup based in California, designed and built the 33.5-meter (110-foot) Terran 1 rocket, which can lift up to 1,250 kilograms into low-Earth orbit with the help of 3D-printed engines and a structure.

"The largest 3D-printed object to attempt orbital flight" is the goal of the test flight, which will take off at 1 p.m. local time (6 p.m. GMT).

Despite the fact that Relativity Space has already signed agreements to launch satellites into orbit, Terran 1, also known as "GLHF" (Good Luck, Have Fun), will not carry a commercial payload during the initial launch attempt.

The company signed a $1.2 billion multi-launch agreement with OneWeb, a satellite company based in the UK, in 2022. OneWeb's low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites will be launched by Relativity Space using its 3D-printed rockets as part of the agreement to increase capacity for its space internet constellation.

Recommended The first "carbon neutral rocket launch" in history, carried out by a company based in the United Kingdom "It's becoming like an airport": How SpaceX made rocket launches more commonplace: "It's becoming like an airport" Relativity Space claims that its novel approach of 3D printing components will significantly reduce the costs of launching rockets, charging approximately $12 million for each flight. This is how SpaceX normalized rocket launches.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, on the other hand, can carry a much larger payload of over 22,000 kilograms at a cost of $67 million per launch.

p>Relativity Space's Terran 1 rocket on the pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida ahead of an attempted launch on March 8, 2023 (Relativity Space) For its first ever test launch of the Terran 1, Relativity Space made the decision to skip the final static fire test, which is typically a crucial stage of pre-flight testing.

A Relativity Space representative stated, "By not completing static fire, we accept the increased likelihood of an abort on our first launch attempt."

However, "we would rather release and launch during our next operation if all systems are performing nominally" as opposed to continuing to "wear the vehicle through additional testing on the ground"

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