Relativity Space initially planned to launch its Terran 1 rocket on March 8, but delays pushed the iconic launch to Saturday, where the company behind the rocket was forced to ultimately cancel the launch of the first 3D-printed rocket at the last moment.
Relativity pushed the launch, which was originally scheduled for earlier in the week, to Saturday. However, during the first attempt to launch the world’s first 3D-printed rocket, an automation issue popped up just after the engines began igniting. The company aborted the flight, pushing it back to later in the launch window.
Unfortunately, that second attempt came to launch the Terran 1 that day was met with yet another scrap as Relativity Space engineers reported pressure issues in the rocket’s second stage. Following the scrap of the launch of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket, Relativity took to Twitter to explain the issues and note that the team had worked exceptionally hard to bring the launch to fruition that day.
“The team went HARD today, and we intend to do so during our next attempt. More to come on the new launch date and window soon,” Relativity Space wrote in a Twitter update. The launch of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket is extremely notable for several reasons.
First, proving that a rocket created with 3D parts will completely change how we create rockets going forward. Many rockets are extremely expensive to build, making their use unsustainable for long-term plans. However, with a 3D-printed rocket, the cost of those parts is lowered considerably. Add on the fact that the Terran 1 is capable of carrying up to 2,755 pounds (1,250 kilograms) into orbit, and you have a much cheaper powerhouse to work with.
The failed launch of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket isn’t the end, though. Relativity Space plans to attempt the launch again soon. It will also set another record if it successfully reaches orbit, making it the first privately funded vehicle to reach low-Earth orbit using methane fuel on its first try.