The launch of Terran 1 opens the doors to a new type of rocket that is infinitely cheaper and faster to manufacture: with a 3D printer.
Last Wednesday, a new space rocket of 33.5 meters long took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is something that has happened frequently for 60 years, but this time, it was very special. He Terran 1he first 3d printed rockettook off successfully and ascended for two minutes towards low orbit.
Equipped with 9 engines powered by liquid natural gas, this rocket made with a 3D printer achieved deploy successfully he module which was to carry the satellites. Separated from the main engines… but module rockets did not ignite, or they did not work well. The module ended up in the Atlantic Ocean, unable to reach its scheduled orbit.
Nevertheless, Relativity Space consider this first flight of the Terran 1 a great success. Not only has it managed to take off without exploding, but it has also completed Phase 1, successfully deploying the module with the alleged payload.
Terran 1, a space rocket made with a 3D printer
Just as important is that the rocket surpassed the zone of maximum dynamic pressurewhich is the maximum pressure it would withstand during the entire flight.
In the absence of knowing the details of the failure, which will be made public, everything indicates that it has nothing to do with the structure of the rocket itself, so the main flight testdemonstrate the viability of a 3d printed rockethas been a great success.
In this video you can briefly see how the rocket was 3D printed, as well as the launch and separation of the module:
THE SPACE ROCKET Terran 1 measure 33.5 meters longhas a diameter of 2.28 meters, and weighs 9,280 kilos. It is capable of putting up to 1,250 kilos of cargoat an altitude of 500 km.
how has it been 3d printed has 100 times less parts than a traditional rocket, it can be manufactured from scratch in just 2 months, and it has only cost 12 million dollars.
Currently the 3D printing process manufactures 80% of the rocketbut Relativity Space wants to reach 95% in future models.
He Terran 1 uses 9 Aeon engines to beat gravity, and a Aeon Vac to go out into space. Use a combination of liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas as fuel, but future models will use methane.
And although they expect to use the Terran 1 for several years, they are already working on the Titan Rwhich can transport up to 20,000 kilos of cargoand it will also be reusable.
This first flight of the Terran 1 shows that the 3d printed space rockets they are perfectly viable. A new path is opened to explore space and put satellites in orbitinfinitely cheaper and faster.