WASHINGTON: On Saturday, the first 3D-printed rocket will launch from Florida, marking the first flight of a new type of spacecraft that promises to be cheaper to build and launch.
It was originally planned for Terran 1 to blast off from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday, but the launch was delayed at the last minute due to concerns about the propellant temperature.


California aerospace startup Relativity Space has rescheduled the launch of its rocket designed to deliver satellites into orbit for Saturday, between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 PM PST (1800 GMT and 2100 GMT).

On a mission to gather data and prove it can withstand the rigors of liftoff and space flight, Terran 1 is scheduled to reach low Earth orbit eight minutes after blastoff.
According to Relativity, if the rocket is successful in reaching low Earth orbit, it will be the first privately funded vehicle to do so using methane fuel.

Even though the first flight of Terran 1 will not test the rocket’s ability to deliver a payload to low Earth orbit, the rocket will eventually be able to lift as much as 2,755 pounds (1,250 kilograms).

The rocket’s diameter is 7.5 feet (2.2 meters), its height is 110 feet (33.5 meters), and 85% of its mass is 3D printed with metal alloys.

The company out of Long Beach claims they have created the largest 3D printed object to date, which will be used in their 95 percent 3D printed rocket.

Liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas fuel the Aeon engines that propel Terran 1; this fuel is also used by the Vulcan rockets being developed by United Launch Alliance and by SpaceX’s Starship.

The first stage of Terran 1 is powered by nine 3D-printed Aeon 1 engines, and the second stage is powered by one 3D-printed Aeon Vacuum engine.

Terran R, a larger rocket being developed by Relativity, will be able to carry a payload of 44,000 pounds (20,000 kilograms) into low Earth orbit.
Next year, Cape Canaveral will host the maiden voyage of the fully reusable Terran R rocket.

Relativity Space believes that its 3D-printed rockets can shorten the years-long wait time that a satellite operator must endure before securing a launch slot on an Arianespace or SpaceX rocket.

The company believes that 3D printing’s long-term advantages—including its low costs, high levels of customization, and radical adaptability—will help accelerate the democratization of space.

Relativity claims its 3D-printed Terran 1 and Terran R rockets can be assembled from scratch in just 60 days using only a hundredth as many parts as a conventional rocket.

Company CEO and co-founder Tim Ellis claims that Relativity has signed commercial launch contracts worth $1.65 billion, primarily for the Terran R.

Ellis tweeted that there is a “massive launch shortage in this payload class,” pointing to medium-heavy lift as the area with the most market potential over the next decade.