Tuesday May 30, 2023

First 3D-printed rocket lifts off but fails to reach orbit

March 24, 2023

WASHINGTON: The world´s first 3D-printed rocket launched successfully on Thursday, marking a step forward for the California company behind the innovative spacecraft, though it failed to reach orbit.

Billed as less costly to produce and fly, the unmanned Terran 1 rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 11:25 pm (0325 GMT Thursday) but suffered an “anomaly” during second-stage separation as it streamed towards low Earth orbit, according to a livestream broadcast by aerospace startup Relativity Space.

The company did not immediately give further details. While it failed to reach orbit, Wednesday´s launch proved that the rocket -- whose mass is 85 percent 3D-printed -- could withstand the rigors of lift-off.

The successful launch came on the third attempt. It had originally been scheduled to launch on March 8 but was postponed at the last minute because of propellant temperature issues.