Technology

The first plant for autonomous 3D printing of space rockets will open in the USA

Space agencies and private companies by allmethods are trying to reduce the cost of sending goods to Earth orbit. While SpaceX makes its rockets reusable, the company founded by the people of Relativity Space wants to simplify the assembly as much as possible and reduce their cost. For this, she intends to use the huge Stargate 3D printer, which finally found a place - it will be installed inside a large industrial building in Mississippi, which has been owned by NASA for 30 years and is not used at all.

Industrial building at number 9101 gotthe space agency from the US military - until 1990, it carried out the production of ammunition. With an area of ​​more than 20,000 square meters and a close distance from the fire test site, it is an excellent place to build Relativity Space launch vehicles. The cost of renting a building is unknown to the company, but its term is nine years and can be extended by another 10 years.

Plant with a 3D printer will speed up missile assembly

The building is already equipped with several pavements.cranes to move the huge components of the missiles, and also has a 24-meter compartment for their vertical location. Instead of constructing a building from scratch, now the company can simply bring a Stargate 3D printer with machine learning into a rented room and in a few months start an autonomous assembly of inexpensive Terran-1 launch vehicles. In this case, the company will provide employment for about 200 residents of Mississippi.

Large space will produce from 12 to 24 Terran-1 missiles per year, providing greater flexibility and faster launch times, announced Toby Dushle, vice president of operations for Relativity.

Stargate 3D Printer for printing boosters

Using 3D printing technology, the company wantsreduce the number of rocket parts from 100,000 to 1,000. This will greatly reduce the cost of assembling space rockets and, accordingly, reduce the cost of launching satellites into near-Earth orbit. It is believed that the printing of the Terran 1 launch vehicle will take about two months, and its maximum payload will be approximately 1,250 kilograms. We can say that Relativity Space rockets will be the largest parts in the world printed on a 3D printer.

Stargate 3D printer

After printing all the components of the rocket, the companywill be able to conduct fire tests at 2-3 kilometers from the plant - as mentioned, the company's test site is located very close. From there, the rockets will be sent to the LC-16 launch complex located on Cape Canaveral. The agreement with the US Air Force to launch missiles from this site was obtained in early 2019.

Test launch of the Terran 1 launch vehiclescheduled for 2020, and the implementation of the first commercial orders - in 2021. In order not to miss the latest news on the activities of Relativity Space, subscribe to our Telegram channel with announcements of fresh materials.