CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – The world’s first 3D printed rocket launched from Launch Complex 16 in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:25 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, but failed to reach orbit after the second stage experienced an anomaly.
The launch window opened at 10:38 p.m. but a boat in the downrange area and upper-level winds delayed the launch until 11:25 p.m.
The first stage reached stage separation as planned, but an anomaly with the second stage prevented the test payload from reaching orbit.
Relativity Space’s first launch of Terran 1, called “GLHF” (Good Luck, Have Fun), did not include a customer payload.
“Today’s launch proved Relativity’s 3D-printed rocket technologies that will enable our next vehicle, Terran R,” Relativity Space tweeted.
“We successfully made it through Max-Q, the highest stress state on our printed structures. This is the biggest proof point for our novel additive manufacturing approach. Today is a huge win, with many historic firsts. We also progressed through Main Engine Cutoff and Stage Separation. We will assess flight data and provide public updates over the coming days.”
As a two-stage, 110ft. tall, 7.5 ft. wide, expendable rocket, Terran 1 is the largest 3D printed object to exist and to attempt orbital flight.
Relativity’s first Terran 1 vehicle is 85% 3D printed by mass but the company’s goal is to ultimately reach 95% 3D printed.
Terran 1 has nine Aeon engines in its first stage, and one Aeon Vac in its second stage.
Like its structure, all Relativity engines are 3D printed and use liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid natural gas (LNG), which Relative Space claims is not only the best for rocket propulsion, but also for reusability, and the easiest to eventually transition to methane on Mars.