This 3D Printing Reusable Rocket Will Settle a Human Colony on Mars
If everything goes according to plan, the first test flight of ‘Terran 1’ could be possible in late 2021. While ‘Terran R’ will be launched in 2024.
California-based aerospace manufacturer Relativity Space has developed a new rocket, the Terran R, which is made entirely of 3D printed technology and is the world’s first reusable rocket. The Terran R is being seen as a rival to the Falcon-9 rocket of Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. ‘Relativity Spaces’ was started in 2015 by young entrepreneurs Tim Ellis (25) and Jordan Noon (23). Today the Relativity space employs 400 employees and it is fast on the way to become a billion-dollar company. Alice and Noon made this rocket using the full potential of 3D technology. Now both are working towards becoming the first start-up company in the world to successfully launch a launch vehicle entirely made of 3D technology.
216 feet high rocket The Terran R is a rocket approximately 216 feet (66 m) high with a diameter of 16 feet (5 m) and a payload fairing of 16 feet (5 m). It will launch in two stages, which can lift up to 20 thousand kilograms (44,100 lb) to low Earth orbit. Terran R and Terran 1 are two different-sized rockets. Terran 1 has already become the world’s first 3D printed space launch vehicle (Space Launch Vehicle or SLV). However, Terran 1 cannot be reused. In contrast, the Terran R is 3D printed and completely re-usable, with a payload of 16 times greater than the Terran 1.
made of metal 3D technology Both Terran rockets are being built using the world’s largest metal 3D printer. With the help of Relativity Space’s 3D technology, it can be assembled in less than two months, compared to the traditional process of building rockets for years. In this way, the number of materials needed to make rockets has decreased by 100 times.
These printers can also incorporate special materials and unique geometric designs that are not possible in the traditional manufacturing process. If everything goes according to plan, Terran 1’s first test flight could be possible in late 2021. While Terran R will launch in 2024.
Terran will set up a colony on Mars
The company’s co-founder Tim Ellis says that this company was founded with the aim of building human industrial bases on Mars with the help of 3D printed rockets. We are working with the inspiration to turn this dream into reality. Scalable, autonomous 3D printing is needed for humans to flourish as a multiplanetary species on Mars. Terran R is the first stop on this journey.
After all, how capable is Terran?
The Terran R is powered by seven Aeon R rocket engines. Each of these engines is capable of producing as much thrust as 136984.896 kg (302,000 lb). It has another ‘Aeon Vac’ engine in its second stage. In the year 2024, Terran R will launch from Launch Complex 16, the company’s site in Cape Canaveral, where Terran 1 is also scheduled to launch this year. With the capability to launch far more payloads than Terran 1, Terran R could become an affordable space travel option for both government and commercial missions.