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Launch of Relativity Space's 3D-printed rocket aborted
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Launch of Relativity Space's 3D-printed rocket aborted
by Adam Schrader
Washington DC (UPI) Mar 11, 2023

The launch of a rocket made almost entirely from 3D-printed parts was aborted within a half-second of liftoff Saturday, just days after a previous attempt was scrubbed.

Relativity Space's rocket Terran 1 was left standing on the launch pad after a series of aborts, the company said in a statement on Twitter around 4:34 p.m. EST.

The company said the first abort pertained to a "corner case in the stage separation automation" that "properly aborted" within a second of liftoff.

Relativity Space said that the team pushed an update to the vehicle automation and successfully recycled the vehicle for an instantaneous launch window at 4 p.m. EST, the last minute the rocket could have possibly launched after a three-hour launch window.

An automated abort was triggered around T-45 seconds during that instantaneous launch window because fuel pressure for the rocket's second stage was one pound-per-square-inch low.

"The team went HARD today and we intend to do so during our next attempt," the company said. "More to come on the new launch date and window soon."

The aborts came after the rocket was expected to lift off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Wednesday before the operation was scrubbed due to a series of automatic aborts within two minutes of launching.

Some 85% of the mass of the 110-foot tall, two-stage rocket was made by a 3D printer and could play a key role in driving down the cost of space travel in the future. Relativity said up to 95% of future rockets could be made with a 3D printer.

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Washington (AFP) March 11, 2023
The launch of the world's first 3D-printed rocket was ultimately scrubbed after several tries on Saturday, marking a new setback for the private owner of an innovative spacecraft billed as being less costly to produce and fly. Engines had begun igniting on the unmanned Terran 1 rocket, built by California aerospace startup Relativity Space, when an "automation" issue caused the company to abort takeoff for the second time in less than a week. A little later, the company tried again to launch the ... read more

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