The Future of 3D Printed Rockets Has Arrived!

At 11:25 PM EDT on March 22nd 2023 Relativity Space made history with the first ever 85% 3D printed rocket which accomplished liftoff, Max Q and first stage separation on their first ever attempt to reach orbit. It appears the 2nd stage had issues during and after ignition which caused the company to not make orbit. However a lot of valuable data has been acquired by Relativity by reaching Max Q maximum dynamic pressure on this vehicle which is proof of concept for the company.

As the rocket climbed into a higher level in the first stage trajectory the flame was a bright white from the first time methalox fuel has powered a rocket through MaxQ to stage separation.

Weather was 95% go for launch and the skies were clear. Upper level winds did require a few new liftoff times during the three hour window from 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM launch window.

Congratulations to the entire team at Relativity for opening a brand new era in rocket design.

Summary and photos by Scott Schilke for &