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Relativity Space pushes ahead with another launch try of 3D printed rocket

Image of Relativity Space's Terran 1 rocket on the pad during its second launch attempt.
Relativity Space
A second attempt to launch Relativity Space's Terran 1 from Cape Canaveral was waived off.

Teams at Relativity Space's launch complex at Cape Canaveral will try for a third time to launch the company's 3D-printed rocket.

An attempt to launch the Terran 1 rocket March 8 was called off. The countdown was delayed due to high winds. A boat that found itself in the rocket's path ultimately forced a scrub for the day.

Issues with the rocket's staging automation and fuel pressure in the final seconds of the countdown waved off a second attempt March 11. "The team went hard," Relativity Space said in a Tweet. "And we intend to do so in our next attempt."

The company is now targeting Wednesday, March 22 for a third try. The launch window opens at 10:00 p.m. ET and remains open for three hours.

Eighty-five percent of the rocket’s parts are 3D printed at the company's Long Beach, California facility. If successful, the company says this will be the first rocket of its kind to reach orbit and has plans to build an even bigger rocket for larger payloads.

"When we started the company, seven years ago, we didn't know 3d printing worked at all," said Relativity Space CEO Tim Ellis in an interview with WMFE. "There's a lot at stake for this launch but I'm feeling very proud."

Relativity Space said it has $1.7 billion in contracts lined up for future launches on its rockets, including commercial and military agreements.

There's no customer payload on this mission, called "Good Luck, Have Fun." Instead, the company is launching its first failed 3D-printed rocket part from their early designs.

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program. Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration, and the weekly news roundup podcast "The Wrap."
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