CAPE CANAVERAL (AP) – A rocket made almost entirely of 3D-printed parts made its launch debut on Wednesday night, lifting off amid fanfare but failing three minutes into flight – far short of orbit.
There was nothing aboard Relativity Space’s test flight except for the company’s first metal 3D print made six years ago.
The start-up wanted to put the souvenir into a 200-kilometre-high orbit for several days before having it plunge through the atmosphere and burn up along with the upper stage of the rocket.
As it turned out, the first stage did its job following lift-off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and separated as planned. But the upper stage appeared to ignite and then shut down, sending it crashing into the Atlantic.
More details on Friday’s Borneo Bulletin