Aerospace AM

Relativity Space sets Terran 1 launch date

"GLHF" (Good Luck, Have Fun), the largest 3D printed object to attempt orbital flight, will launch from Complex 16 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, around 13:00 Eastern Time, on 8 March 2023

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Relativity Space has recently announced the date for the first launch of Terran 1, called “GLHF” (Good Luck, Have Fun) – the largest 3D printed object to attempt orbital flight. The vehicle will launch from Complex 16 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, around 13:00 Eastern Time, on 8 March 2023. The launch is the first orbital attempt by Relativity Space, and will not include a customer payload.

Terran 1, a two-stage, expendable rocket, stands 110 feet tall, and 7.5 feet wide, and has nine 3D printed Aeon engines on its first stage and one Aeon Vac on its second stage.

Relativity Space sets Terran 1 launch date. The largest 3D printed object to attempt orbital flight will launch on 8 March 2023.

All Relativity Space engines, and the structure, are entirely 3D printed by either DED (via the internally developed Stargate WAAM systems) or metal PBF (Velo3D and possibly other systems). According to the company, the engines “use liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid natural gas (LNG), which are not only the best for rocket propulsion, but also for reusability, and the easiest to eventually transition to methane on Mars.”

“7 years ago, I remember at Y Combinator our mentor Sam Altman [CEO of OpenAI] told us we were absolutely crazy for trying to simultaneously invent a brand new manufacturing technology and an orbital rocket, which is already super hard. Now we are on the launch pad almost ready to go with the world’s first 3D printed rocket. It’s been a truly wild ride to get to this point, and certainly way harder than I ever imagined going into it – but all the feels from me and our team as we embark on this historic launch. There is a very bright future ahead for Relativity Space! (and [for what it’s worth] Sam says he’s a big fan now),” Tweeted Tim Ellis, Co-founder, and CEO of Relativity Space, on 22 February 2023.

The launch was originally scheduled for the Summer of 2022, but considering the revolutionary nature of space travel, this delay is negligible in the grand scheme of things.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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