A rocket made almost entirely from 3D-printed parts remains grounded after back-to-back launch aborts
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A rocket made almost entirely from 3D-printed parts came on its debut flight within half a second of detonation Saturday, but was grounded after the launch was aborted in succession.
The engines ignited, but abruptly stopped, leaving Relativity Space’s rocket, named Terran, stationary on its platform.
Launch controllers reset the countdown clocks and aimed for the last possible moment of the three-hour window at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. But again onboard computers stopped the countdown, this time with 45 seconds left.
Relativity Space blamed the first problem of the afternoon on automation software and the second on low fuel pressure.
The first launch attempt, on Wednesday, was aborted after a minute due to a bad valve.
It was not immediately known when the company would try again.
With a height of 33 meters, the rocket is relatively small. Relativity Space said 85% of the rocket, including the motors, came from the huge 3D printers at the company’s headquarters in Long Beach, California.
Since this is a test flight, everything on board the rocket is the company’s first 3D metal print. The company wants to put the souvenir, along with the second stage, into a low, short-lived orbit.
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