Relativity reveals 3D printed Terran R spacecraft
California-based Relativity Space has unveiled plans for Terran R, a fully reusable, fully 3D printed space launcher.
As a 216ft (66m) high two-stage rocket with a 16ft (5m) diameter and 5m payload shroud, Terran R will be capable of launching 20,000kg into low earth orbit, from 2024 on the company’s launch site. at Cape Canaveral.
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The Los Angeles-based company also closed a $ 650 million Series E funding round that will enable Terran R program scale-up and long-term infrastructure development.
Created in Relativity’s so-called Factory of the Future, Terran R is said to have unique aeronautical characteristics, complex structures, and the capacity to launch twenty times more payload than its predecessor Terran 1.
The Terran R will be equipped with seven 3D printed Aeon R rocket motors capable of thrust of 302,000 lbs each, while its upper stage houses a 1 vac Aeon engine. Terran R also represents a big step towards Relativity’s mission to eventually offer customers a point-to-point space freighter capable of performing missions between the Earth, the Moon and Mars.
“Since our founding days in Y Combinator just five years ago, we have planned to 3D print Terran 1 and then Terran R – a fully reusable rocket 20 times the size – on our Factory of the Future platform” , said Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder. of Relativity. “Today, we are getting closer to that goal. With our first Terran 1 rocket, our second product, Terran R, will continue to leverage Relativity’s disruptive approach to 3D printing – reduced number of parts, speed of innovation, improved flexibility and reliability – to deliver market the next generation of launch vehicles.
Ellis added, “Relativity was founded with a mission to 3D print entire rockets and build humanity’s industrial base on Mars. We were inspired to make this vision a reality and believe there must be dozens if not hundreds of companies working to build humanity’s multiplanetary future on Mars. Scalable, self-sustaining 3D printing is inevitably necessary to thrive on Mars, and Terran R is the product’s second step in a long-term journey Relativity is planning for the future.
To date, Relativity has printed over 85% of the first Terran 1 orbital rocket, including its first and second stages. Terran 1’s commercial traction includes a customer contract with TriSept, its first launch contract with the US Department of Defense, and a Venture 2 Class Launch Services Demonstration (VCLS Demo 2) contract with NASA.
Relativity said its streamlined supply chain allows it to build its rockets with more than 100 fewer parts in less than 60 days.