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Wed Jun 9, 2021, 04:48 AM

Relativity Space's reusable Terran R rocket can be 3D-printed in 60 days

By Nick Lavars
June 08, 2021

3D printing has come to play a significant role in modern rocket construction, with key players like Rocket Lab, NASA and SpaceX all leaning on the technology in producing their spacecraft. Startup Relativity Space is now coming to the party with its freshly unveiled Terran R rocket, which it describes as an entirely 3D-printed launch vehicle that can be created from raw materials in 60 days, and which is fully resuable.

In revealing its plans for the Terran R rocket, Relativity Space describes it as a two-stage launch vehicle that stands 216 ft (66 m) tall with a 16-ft (4.9-m) diameter. The California-based company is designing the rocket to launch satellites and for multi-planetary travel, equipping it with an ability to lift 20,000 kg (44,000 lb) into low-Earth orbit, close to the payload capacity of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket at 22,800 kg (50,265 lb).

The rocket will be powered by seven of the company's Aeon R 3D-printed rocket engines that each generate 302,000 lb of thrust, while the upper stage will carry just one of its 3D-printed Aeon Vac engines. Relativity Space says the rocket will be fully reusable, including these engines, the first and second stages and the 5-m (16.4-ft) fairing used to protect its payloads. How it will retrieve all of this following launch is at this stage unclear, though such a feat won't be easy.

It also describes the rocket as the world's first to be entirely 3D printed. It will be manufactured using a mix of artificial intelligence and autonomous robots to print the structures and engines, a process the company says results in far fewer parts and an ability to turn raw materials into a standing rocket within 60 days. It also says this approach allows for unique aerodynamic features and geometries that wouldn't be possible with traditional production methods.


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Reply Relativity Space's reusable Terran R rocket can be 3D-printed in 60 days (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 9 OP
Wounded Bear Jun 9 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 08:54 AM

1. Cool stuff! Thanks for the link...nt

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