California-based Relativity Space has announced plans for Terran R, a fully reusable and fully 3D-printed launcher.
As a two-stage, 66 m high rocket with a diameter of 5 m and a payload fairing of 5 m, Terran R will be able to put 20,000 kg into low orbit from 2024 at the company’s launch site in Cape Canaveral.
Orbex builds rocket engines with Europe’s largest 3D printer
Orbex receives 7.45 million euros in funding Boost! from ESA
The Los Angeles-based company has also closed a $ 650 million Series E financing round that will enable the Terran-R program to scale and long-term infrastructure development.
Terran R was developed in the so-called Factory of the Future by Relativity and is said to have unique aeronautical functions, complex structures and the ability to launch twenty times more payload than its predecessor Terran 1.
Terran R will be equipped with seven 3D-printed Aeon R rocket engines, each with a thrust of 302,000 pounds, while its upper stage will house an Aeon 1 vacuum engine. Terran R also represents a major step forward in Relativity’s mission to ultimately offer customers a point-to-point space freighter that enables missions between Earth, Moon and Mars.
“Since our founding at Y Combinator just five years ago, we have planned to 3D print Terran 1 and then Terran R – a 20 times larger, fully reusable rocket – on our Factory of the Future platform,” said Tim Ellis, CEO and co-founder of relativity. “Today we have come one step closer to this goal. Together with our first rocket Terran 1, our second product, Terran R, will continue to use Relativity’s revolutionary approach to 3D printing – reduced number of parts, improved speed of innovation, flexibility and reliability – with 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 that dozens to hundreds of companies must work to build the multi-planetary future of humanity on Mars. Scalable, autonomous 3D printing is inevitably required to be successful on Mars, and Terran R is the second product step on a long-term journey that Relativity plans in advance. “
To date, Relativity has printed over 85 percent 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 Department of Defense, and a Venture Class Launch Services Demonstration 2 (VCLS Demo 2) contract with NASA.
Relativity said its simplified supply chain allows it to build its rockets with over 100 fewer parts in less than 60 days.