3D-printed rocket launch fails: US debut 3D-printed rocket launch fails to reach orbit, crashes in Atlantic

The rocket, made up almost entirely of 3D-printed parts, debuted Wednesday night, taking off to much fanfare but failing three minutes into flight. orbit.

There was nothing on board. Relativity Space test flight with the exception of the company’s first metal 3D print made six years ago.

The startup wanted to put the souvenir into a 125-mile (200 km) orbit for a few days before it plunges into the atmosphere and burns up along with the upper stage of the rocket.

As it turned out, the first stage did its job after launching from the Space Force station at Cape Canaveral and separated as planned. But the upper stage seemed to catch fire and then shut down, sending it into the Atlantic.

It was the third attempt to launch from the site where the missile system was once located. Earlier this month, Relativity Space lifted off half a second after liftoff, when the rocket’s engines lit up and then abruptly shut down.

Although the upper stage failed and the mission did not reach orbit, “first launches are always exciting, and today’s flight was no exception,” Relativity Space launch commentator Arva Tisani Kelly said after Wednesday’s launch.

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Most of the 110-foot (33-meter) rocket, including its engines, came out of the company’s huge 3D printers in Long Beach, California. Relativity Space said the 3D printed metal parts make up 85% of the rocket, named Terran. Larger versions of the rocket will have even more and can also be reused for multiple flights.

Other space companies also rely on 3D printingbut fragments make up only a small part of their missiles.

Founded in 2015 by a couple of young aerospace engineers, Relativity Space has caught the attention of investors and venture capitalists.

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