CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A rocket made almost entirely of 3D-printed parts launched from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday but failed to reach orbit three minutes into its flight.
The only item on Relativity Space’s test flight was the company’s first metal 3D print, which was manufactured six years ago, The Associated Press reported.
After several holds and delays, the rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral at 11:25 p.m. EDT, according to WFTV.
Today’s launch proved Relativity’s 3D-printed rocket technologies that will enable our next vehicle, Terran R. We successfully made it through Max-Q, the highest stress state on our printed structures. This is the biggest proof point for our novel additive manufacturing approach.… pic.twitter.com/9iaFVwYoqe— Relativity Space (@relativityspace) March 23, 2023
The rocket was powered by super-chilled methane and oxygen, CNN reported.
After the first stage of the rocket detached, the engine meant to propel the remaining portion of the spacecraft appeared to ignite only briefly, the cable news outlet reported. That left the rocket without enough power to reach orbit and the spacecraft crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, according to the AP.
It was the third launch attempt for Relativity Space, the news organization reported.
The previous attempts were scrubbed due to technical issues, according to WFTV.