Launch of 3D-printed rocket canceled at last second

Launch of 3D-printed rocket canceled at last second

Launch of 3D-printed rocket canceled at last second

The launch of the world’s first 3D-printed rocket was ultimately scrubbed after several tries on March 11, 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

A little later, the company tried again to launch the spacecraft from Florida’s Cape Canaveral but had to abort due to pressure issues in the rocket’s second stage, the company later tweeted.

“The team went HARD today and we intend to do so during our next attempt. More to come on the new launch date,” Relativity said.

At one point during the three-hour launch window, which began at 1 p.m. (1800 GMT), the countdown was put on hold when a private boat violated a danger zone.

An earlier scheduled launch last Wednesday was also postponed over last-minute propellant temperature issues.

Once it does take off, Terran 1 is set to reach low Earth orbit after eight minutes on a voyage intended to gather data and demonstrate that a 3D-printed rocket can withstand the rigors of liftoff and space flight.

If the rocket manages to attain low Earth orbit, it will be the first privately funded vehicle using methane fuel to do so on its first try, according to Relativity.

Terran 1 is not expected to carry a payload for its first flight, but the rocket will eventually be capable of putting up to 1,250 kilograms into low Earth orbit.