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Relativity Space (future launch provider)


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8 minutes ago, Ultimate Steve said:

Going by their website, their goal is to 3d print the entire rocket.

Yeah I know what they want to do, I’m just not sure if it can be done. At least in the near future.

We know engines can be 3d printed but other components may not be able to for some time.

Of course an entirely 3d printed rocket would be awesome.

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  • 10 months later...
On 7/12/2019 at 9:53 AM, Bill Phil said:

We know engines can be 3d printed but other components may not be able to for some time.

A rocket is an engine, a tank and a PLF. The engine can be 3D printed, the other parts are fairly straightforward, so I don't see why not. It's mostly a matter of how big you're able to print. 

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2 hours ago, Dragon01 said:

A rocket is an engine, a tank and a PLF. The engine can be 3D printed, the other parts are fairly straightforward, so I don't see why not. It's mostly a matter of how big you're able to print. 

Size is a major issue but the problems I'm referring to are related to issues with perfecting the printing process. It's possible, but it needs to be developed. That takes time. It could be next year, or next decade. Or further down the road. 

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With how widely 3D printing is used, I'd say that printing a cylinder (or a series of rings) and two caps would be a well explored area. 

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  • 3 months later...
On 5/19/2020 at 11:04 PM, mikegarrison said:

Welding is "additive manufacturing".

You heard it here first, folks!

106157775-1569932669106relativity3dprint

sauce

Anyway, that runout doesn't look too bad. Certainly better than I expected. What I don't understand is: Why? Drums of that size should be available as off the shelf parts.

Edited by Shpaget
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8 hours ago, Shpaget said:

What I don't understand is: Why? Drums of that size should be available as off the shelf parts.
 

There is a fair chance that 3D printing this particular part is a gimmick. Having said that if I give them the benefit of the doubt I can come up with a few possible reasons. There is more that goes into the tanks of a rocket than you might think. They are pressure vessels and often structural. Rocketry is so mass sensitive that I'm sure that getting it to the point where it has enough material to match the safety margin and no more is generally the goal. Also I remembered this post when discussing Vulcan's manufacturing where it was apparent that traditional manufacturing involved a removing a lot of material. Rockets launches are few enough that economies of scale don't necessarily apply, so just having fewer infrastructure pieces may be a net reduction in cost even if a dedicated machine might be faster/cheaper per piece made. It is hard to say whether this is a gimmick or game changing tech at this stage, but there is definitely a lot of interesting things happening in rocketry these days.

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  • 7 months later...
Posted (edited)

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Someone trying to be a "fast follower."

 

I'm interested in what happens with them, and maybe they can help drive costs down. As I have said in at least a couple other threads, the total launch market is not huge, so the only way for this to be a growth industry vs fighting for scraps is if costs drop tot he point it creates entirely new businesses in space. I'm honestly unsure how possible that is, but step one is to have 2 providers capable of competing on cost to drive prices far, far lower.

This is 20t to LEO, 100% reuse.

Edited by tater
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From Berger's article:

Quote

"We're trying to ice skate to where the puck is going," Ellis said, adding that Relativity wants to be similarly disruptive to SpaceX, but in its own way. "What we keep hearing from customers is that they don't want just a single launch company that is, frankly, the only quickly moving, disruptive provider."

And for those who think the kooky Mars ideas are some sort of con to make money (presumably via the underpants gnome technique)

Spoiler

underpantsgnomes1.jpg?w=529&h=206

 

Quote

"In every SpaceX animation, we saw a fade into black right when people walked out of the rocket on Mars," Ellis said. "So what was clear [is] that there needed to be some other company building humanity's industrial base on Mars. Replicating the infrastructure for a million people that live on Mars is a massive undertaking, and I think a lot of people need to work on it."

 

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Just now, Spaceman.Spiff said:

Where have we seen this before....

When a design looks like it works, it looks like it works.

It's no accident all the 1st stage booster reuse concepts from China and now Arianespace look like F9, either.

Not seeing the legs on the Terran R booster...

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Just now, tater said:

When a design looks like it works, it looks like it works.

I genuinely think it's cool that the rocket is basically a scaled down Starship-Superheavy.

1 minute ago, tater said:

Not seeing the legs on the Terran R booster...

Perhaps they plan to catch it.... :wink:

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Excellent to see another fully reusable rocket in development. With everyone else shooting for Falcon 9, it's good to see some competition for Starship.

Another thing I noticed: that render says the second stage has a single vacuum engine. Unless they have some kind of variable-geometry engine bell, that's propulsive landing out of the window (probably). I wonder what the plan for recovering the second stage is.

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9 minutes ago, RealKerbal3x said:

Excellent to see another fully reusable rocket in development. With everyone else shooting for Falcon 9, it's good to see some competition for Starship.

Another thing I noticed: that render says the second stage has a single vacuum engine. Unless they have some kind of variable-geometry engine bell, that's propulsive landing out of the window (probably). I wonder what the plan for recovering the second stage is.

Good observation. Look at the interstage region as well. Complex shape.

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2 minutes ago, tater said:

Good observation. Look at the interstage region as well. Complex shape.

It reminds me of the interstage on ITS:

138cee3b069ed746c980724bace0d79b.png

Looks like, similarly to that, part of the interstage is on the booster and the other part is on the 2nd stage.

Now that I look at it, the shape of the 2nd stage also gives me strong 2017 BFR vibes:

musk-spacex-slide-6.jpg

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