John C. Stennis Space Center
3D Printed Terran 1
Terran 1 is a small-sized, two-stage rocket designed and manufactured by the US-based company Relativity Space. The rocket is intended for small satellite launches and is notable for being primarily 3D printed.
The main engine of Terran 1, the Aeon 1, is entirely 3D printed using a proprietary process developed by Relativity Space, which involves robotics and metal 3D printing technology. The rocket’s fuel tanks, engine components, and other structural elements are also 3D printed, reducing the overall number of parts and simplifying the assembly process. Relativity Space has stated that 3D printing technology enables them to manufacture Terran 1 with significantly fewer parts and faster rates than traditional rocket manufacturing methods, leading to lower costs and faster turnaround times.
According to Relativity Space, a private American aerospace manufacturer headquartered in Los Angeles, California, “Relativity Space was founded on the idea that Blue Origin and SpaceX were not doing enough to use 3D printing for rocket manufacturing. Relativity plans to 3D print an entire launch vehicle they call Terran 1. The extensive use of 3D printing has allowed the company to iterate designs quickly and use less tooling and human labor. In March 2018, Relativity Space signed a 20-year lease at the John C. Stennis Space Center, a NASA rocket testing facility, to test engine components and eventually test full-scale Aeon 1 rocket engines. The company says it will launch its first rocket, Terran 1, from the site in 2020. Relativity plans to start commercial launch service by early 2021.”
CNBC. (2019, October 1). Rocket builder Relativity raises $140 million from Mary Meeker, among others. Relativity Space, RAW MATERIAL TO FLIGHT.