Terran 1 did not reach its planned 200-210 km orbit due to engine failure in the second stage.
The world’s first light methane launch vehicle, Terran 1, with 85% of its parts created on a 3D printer, was unable to reach its planned orbit due to a second-stage engine failure. This was reported on March 23 by Relativity Space.
At the same time, the development company considered the mission partially successful, as it proved that printed structures can be used for space flights.
“We successfully exceeded Max-Q, the highest state of stress in our printed structures. This is the biggest proof of our new approach to additive manufacturing,” emphasizes Relativity Space.
Today’s launch proved Relativity’s 3D-printed rocket technologies will enable our next vehicle, the Terran R. We’ve successfully done this at Max-Q, the highest state of stress in our vehicles. -print structure. This is the biggest proof point for our novel additive manufacturing approach.… pic.twitter.com/9iaFVwYoqe
— Relativity Space (@relativityspace) March 23, 2023
The launch, which was delayed twice due to technical issues, took place at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 11:25 pm Wednesday ET (Thursday 05:25 CET).
About four minutes into the flight, the second stage of the Terran 1 engine failed. The rocket was supposed to reach an orbit with an altitude of 200-210 km.
Recall that the 30-meter two-stage Terran 1 rocket was equipped with nine Aeon engines in the first stage and one in the second, which were also created using 3D printers. They use methane as fuel and liquid oxygen as an oxidant.
In the future, it will be able to launch up to 1250 kg into low Earth orbit. The cost of a launch is estimated at $12 million.
Relativity Space is also developing a heavy-duty reusable Terran R launch vehicle capable of launching up to 20 tons of payload into orbit.
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I am Ben Stock, a passionate and experienced digital journalist working in the news industry. At the Buna Times, I write articles covering technology developments and related topics. I strive to provide reliable information that my readers can trust. My research skills are top-notch, as well as my ability to craft engaging stories on timely topics with clarity and accuracy.