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Relativity, a new rocket company based on the Space Coast, is about to launch its first rocket

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In Science and Space: The age of 3D printed rockets is fast approaching as Relativity Space continues to rev up the engines of the first Terran 1 rocket at Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, preparing for its first launch.

The company’s CEO and co-founder, Tim Ellis, tweeted, “We’re going to review the data and if all looks good, we’ll move on to full flight endurance testing before START.” It is the first company to do so from , and will be the first oxygen/methane rocket to be launched into orbit.”

The Long Beach, Calif.-based company said Monday at Canaveral’s Launch Complex 16, which has not been launched since 1988, the rocket’s nine of his Aeon-1 first stage engines burned for 20 seconds. Has completed.

Relativity Space will be his second new commercial airline to depart from Canaveral this year, following his two launches of Astra Space. The Astra rocket managed launches, but had issues with payload delivery and has since suspended launches while designing its next-generation rockets. Terran 1 aims to be 95% 3D printed in time, while a larger rocket called Terran R will be 100% 3D printed in the factory. This first of his Terran 1 rocket is 85% 3D printed, including two stages and all engines.

Terran R could fly as early as 2024, and has already signed a contract with Impulse Space, making it the first commercial payload to Mars.

The company’s goal is to 3D print extraplanetary rockets, like those on Mars, that will transition to using methane as fuel. “I believe that building a multiplanetary future on Mars will only be possible by inviting dozens to hundreds of companies to work towards his one goal,” he said. . “This is a tremendous challenge, but what is successfully achieved will extend the possibilities that humanity will experience in our lifetimes across two planets.”

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Relativity recently announced a deal to expand OneWeb’s existing 648-satellite constellation by using his Terran R for satellite company OneWeb’s launch services from 2025. “The market clearly needs more disruptive launch capabilities,” Ellis said. “Relativity is developing Terran R to address this additional need.”

Relativity Space joins a growing number of for-profit companies launching from the Space Coast. SpaceX and United Launch Alliance have strong presences, and Astra Space also tried to join this year. Blue Origin is due to join next year, and other companies like Firefly Aerospace were planning to launch from Cape Canaveral. Relativity has won eight of his customers, including the U.S. Department of Defense and NASA, and he awarded the company $3 million under a Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 contract. All of Relativity’s first launches were from LC-16, previously used on Titan and Pershing rockets, and as a test for the Apollo and Gemini programs.

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