3D Printed Rockets
3D Printing began to be used in production versions of spaceflight hardware in early 2014, when SpaceX first flew a flight-critical propulsion system assembly on an operational Falcon 9 flight.
A number of other 3D-printed spacecraft assemblies have been ground-tested, including high-temperature, high-pressure rocket engine combustion chambers and the entire mechanical space frame and integral propellant tanks for a small satellite. A 3D printed rocket engine successfully launched a rocket to space in 2017, and to orbit in 2018.
3D printed rockets save on up front tooling, enable rapid iteration, decrease part count, and facilitate radically new designs.Veritasium
Relativity Space is an American aerospace manufacturing company headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 2015 by Tim Ellis and Jordan Noone. Relativity Space is developing manufacturing technologies, launch vehicles and rocket engines for commercial orbital launch services.
It was founded by CEO Tim Ellis and CTO Jordan Noone on the idea that existing NewSpace companies were not tapping enough into the potential of additive manufacturing (3D printing). Relativity is aiming to be the first company to successfully launch a fully 3D-printed launch vehicle into orbit.
The first company to 3D print entire rockets and build the largest metal 3D printers in the world, Relativity Space, announced today that it has signed a multi-year, multi-launch Launch Services Agreement (LSA) with OneWeb, the global space-based communications company. Under the agreement, Relativity will launch OneWeb’s low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites on Terran R, the first fully reusable and entirely 3D printed rocket, starting in 2025.
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