Launch of rocket made almost entirely of 3D parts canceled at last minute

Due to a temperature problem, the on-board flight computer stopped the countdown with only one minute remaining.

Sat 11 Mar 2023 23:02 UK

The launch of the rocket, made mostly of 3D-printed parts, had to be canceled at the last minute due to temperature problems.

California-based Relativity Space was attempting to launch a 33-meter rocket called Terran from a former missile site at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

About 85% of the Terran is made of 3D-printed parts—including its engine—at the company’s factory in Long Beach, California.

Relativity Space is hoping to increase that percentage even further on future versions.

As Terran attempted to launch, the on-board flight computers halted the countdown with only one minute remaining due to a temperature issue with the rocket’s upper stage.

Mission Control decided to deal with the problem and try again before the launch window closed, but ultimately had to delay it.

It’s unclear when the company will try again.

If and when Terran makes it to the skies, it will carry only one memento: the first metal 3D print from the company’s printer.

Relativity Space said Terran is the largest 3D-printed object ever to attempt launch.

SpaceX’s Falcon rockets have been flying with 3D-printed parts for years — but not in the proportions that Relativity Space is using.

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