After more launches, 3D-printed rockets remain grounded

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A rocket made almost completely of 3D-printed parts came within a half-second of blasting off Saturday on its debut flight, but remained grounded after back-to-back launch aborts.

The engines ignited, but abruptly shut down, leaving Relativity Space’s rocket, named Terran, standing on its pad.

Launch controllers reset the countdown clocks, and aimed for the end of the three-hour window at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. The countdown was halted by the onboard flight computers, this time with 46 seconds left. The problem was not explained.

The Wednesday launch attempt was the first. aborted at the one-minute mark Bad valve.

The company did not immediately say when it might attempt to retry.

The rocket measures in at 110 feet (33 meters). Relativity Space stated that 85% of the rocket’s components, including its engines, were printed by its large 3D printers at its headquarters in Long Beach.

Given this is a test flight, all that is aboard the rocket is the company’s first 3D metal print. The company plans to place the souvenir and the second stage in a low orbit that will last only a few minutes.


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