A pioneering spacecraft, touted as more cost-effective to produce and fly, is set to become the world’s first 3D-printed rocket to launch from Florida on Saturday. The California-based startup Relativity Space built Terran 1 to put satellites into orbit, using liquid oxygen and liquid natural gas to power its nine 3D-printed Aeon 1 engines and a single 3D-printed Aeon Vacuum engine. The 110-foot-tall rocket has a diameter of 7.5 feet and is 85% 3D printed with metal alloys, including its engines. It can carry up to 2,755 pounds into low Earth orbit, and if it successfully reaches that altitude, it will be the first privately-funded rocket using methane fuel to do so on its maiden flight. Although not carrying a payload on this occasion, Terran 1’s creators hope to build a rocket that is 95% 3D printed eventually and that could use the same propellants to fuel a voyage to Mars.
Made In 60 days
In addition to Terran 1, Relativity Space is developing a giant rocket, Terran R, which is fully reusable and can carry a payload of up to 44,000 pounds into low Earth orbit. The company plans to launch Terran R for the first time next year from Cape Canaveral. Relativity hopes to accelerate the timeline for satellite operators, who can wait years for a spot on rockets from companies such as Arianespace or SpaceX, using 3D-printed rockets. According to Relativity, their rockets use 100 times fewer parts than traditional rockets, and both Terran 1 and Terran R can be built from raw materials in just 60 days. Relativity has already secured commercial launch contracts worth $1.65 billion, mainly for Terran R. CEO Tim Ellis, who co-founded the company in 2015, tweeted that “medium-heavy lift is clearly where the most significant market opportunity is for the remaining decade, with a massive launch shortage in this payload class.
New paint on joe biden plane
The US Air Force has unveiled a new colour scheme for Air Force One, opting for a classic blue-and-white design for the presidential aircraft instead of the bolder red, white and blue palette favoured by former President Donald Trump. The new colour scheme, which closely resembles the current one with a more modern shade of blue, will be used for the new Air Force One aircraft currently under construction and projected to be delivered in 2027 and 2028. The ageing current Air Force One planes, which include high-tech communication facilities, a medical bay, and a self-defence system, will continue to be used until the newer aircraft are delivered.
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