The world’s first 3D printed rocket launched from Florida


An ambitious plan to send heavy objects into space is being worked on on a 3D printed rocket.

The rocket scheduled to launch from Florida on Wednesday looks a lot like the others, but at its base is a delicate gift: “Printed in the United States.”

It was the largest metal object ever 3D printed, say the people behind its creation.

The ship was created by Relativity Space, a California company that wanted to revolutionize the way the world built rockets. Its creators used massive 3D printers that were capable of making large parts and were able to print similar rockets – including engines – in just 60 days.

“So 85 percent of the rocket’s mass currently sitting on a 3D printed platform,” said Josh Brost, senior vice president of revenue operations at Relativity Space.

In addition to being the world’s first 3D-printed rocket, it is likely the first to use liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellants, Brost said, describing these as “the propellants of the future for those what would be the reusable rocket.”

Such a ship could come together in a short amount of time and at a quarter of the cost, Relativity Space said.

Because the 10-story high rocket is mostly printed, it has 100 times fewer parts, according to its creators. It is designed to carry small satellites into space for customers like NASA.

Its engine has been extensively tested, but Wednesday’s launch will be the company’s first attempt to reach orbit.

“We have the ability to demonstrate an entirely new way to produce large aerospace systems that can make access to space less expensive, more frequent, and more reliable. that certainly has a positive impact on human life on Earth and will last for many years to come.” come,” Brost said.

“Things are going well and the team is feeling pleased and excited about the opportunity to test the system in flight.”

The company’s goals for the first flight include demonstrating that a 3D-printed rocket can survive conditions, including the first ascent, which Brost describes as “the point of maximum dynamic pressure “.

“Getting past that will be the ultimate confirmation that our 3D printed structures are responsible for driving the launch system,” he said.

“A lot of firsts 3D printing and proving the viability of that technology.”

The company hopes this project is just the beginning. It is also planning a much larger and reusable rocket, which will be 95% 3D printed, with the hope that this ship will eventually reach Mars.

In the hope of boldly going where no printed object has gone before, the people behind the rocket aptly named its first mission “Good luck, have fun.”

With files from Reuters and Associated Press

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