First autonomous 3D-printed rocket nears launch – IoT World Today
Relativity Space achieved an industry first with the development of a 3D printed rocket.
Both stages of the group’s Terran-1 rocket were shipped to a launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, bringing the startup closer to the first orbital launch of its rocket; scheduled for 2024.
Terran-1 is comprised of nine 3D-printed booster engines, constructed primarily from aluminum. The construction process leverages 3D printing, AI, and autonomous robotics to optimize its design and construction. Additionally, these digital tools allow Relativity Space to significantly speed up the process and reduce touchpoints and delays, as well as making reliability increasingly robust. According to Relativity Space, its Terran 1 and Terran R rockets can be created from raw material in 60 days.
Terran R is expected to launch from the Relativity-built launch pad at Cape Canaveral, starting in 2024.
Going forward, the group – which is the second-largest private space company in the world after Elon Musk’s SpaceX – plans to expand its 3D printing factory to include not just rockets, but also infrastructure elements. necessary for civilization on Mars.
Founder Tim Ellis said in an interview with the World Economic Forum that his company’s intention is to make it easier for people to travel to Mars, saying making humanity “multi-planetary” was a solution to problems such as climate change and land use. Ultimately, Ellis wants to put 1 million people on Mars, and he sees his 3D-printed rockets as the way to get there.