AerospaceAM for Space

Relativity’s fully 3D printed Terran 1 rocket to launch in summer 2022

GLHF mission is the first orbital attempt by the largest 3D printed object targeting orbital flight

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Aerospace 3D printing pioneer Relativity is scheduled for its first launch of Terran 1, called GLHF (Good Luck, Have Fun), from Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) in Cape Canaveral in summer 2022. This launch of Terran 1 is the first orbital attempt by Relativity and will not include a customer payload. In the future, the rocket will support a payload of up to 1,250 kg / 2756 lbs to LEO, with a maximum target altitude of 500 km / 310 miles.

As a two-stage, 110 feet (33.5 meters) tall, 7.5 feet (2.8 meters) wide, expendable rocket, Terran 1 is the largest 3D printed object to exist and to attempt orbital flight. It has a dry mass of 9,280 kg (20,458 lb).

Relativity is scheduled for its first launch of Terran 1, GLHF, from Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) in Cape Canaveral in summer 2022

Working towards its goal of being 95% 3D printed, Relativity’s first Terran 1 vehicle is 85% 3D printed by mass. Terran 1 has nine Aeon engines on its first stage, and one Aeon Vac on its second stage. The Aeon engines can generate thrust (at sea level) of 100,000 N / 23,000 lbf per engine and a thrust (in a vacuum) of 113,000 N / 25,400 lbf.

Like its structure, all Relativity engines are entirely 3D printed and 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. As one of the few LOX/LNG fueled rockets in the industry, Terran 1 is racing to be the first LOX/LNG rocket to fly.

Relativity is scheduled for its first launch of Terran 1, GLHF, from Launch Complex 16 (LC-16) in Cape Canaveral in summer 2022

Relativity’s proprietary Factory of the Future centers on Stargate, the world’s largest metal 3D printers, that will create Terran 1, the world’s first 3D printed rocket, and the first fully reusable, entirely 3D printed rocket, Terran R, from raw material to flight in 60 days. As a 93-acre former Boeing C-17 manufacturing plant in Long Beach, the new Relativity headquarters, designed in collaboration with Gensler, is one of the largest headquarters in the private space industry.

Relativity Headquarters has a capacity for 2,000+ employees, a metallurgical laboratory, DMLS printers, a mission control center, as well as dozens of the company’s proprietary Stargate 3D printers, the largest metal 3D printers in the world. With software changes, Relativity’s Stargate printers are capable of printing both Terran 1, the world’s first entirely 3D printed launch vehicle and its fully reusable, entirely 3D printed rocket, Terran R.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based 3dpbm. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites 3D Printing Media Network and Replicatore, as well as 3D Printing Business Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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