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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday June 09, @09:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the competition++ dept.

Relativity Space reveals fully reusable medium lift launch vehicle Terran R

Relativity Space, leveraging their 3D printing technology, has announced the next step towards supporting multiplanetary spaceflight: a fully reusable, medium lift launch vehicle named Terran R.

The company's second launch vehicle, succeeding the Terran 1 rocket to debut later this year, will have more payload capacity than the partially reusable SpaceX Falcon 9, and is only the second fully reusable commercial launch vehicle to be revealed publicly after SpaceX's Starship.

The two stage Terran R rocket will be 216 feet (65.8 meters) tall and 16 feet (4.9 meters) in diameter. The second stage features aerodynamic surfaces which will enable recovery and reuse, in addition to a reusable 5 meter diameter payload fairing. Terran R will be capable of delivering over 20,000 kilograms to Low Earth Orbit in its reusable configuration, beating Falcon 9's 15,600 kilograms with drone ship recovery.

Just like Terran 1, Relativity's small lift vehicle offering 1,250 kilograms to Low Earth Orbit, the components for Terran R will be 3D printed. Relativity Space aims to reduce cost and improve reliability by designing 3D printed vehicles with a low part count.

Previously: Relativity Space Leases Land at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi
Aerospace Startup Making 3D-Printed Rockets Now Has a Launch Site at America's Busiest Spaceport
Relativity Space Selected to Launch Satellites for Telesat

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  • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday June 11, @01:51PM

    by Immerman (3985) on Friday June 11, @01:51PM (#1144241)

    No idea, anyone else? Perhaps it's bound into heavier molecules that settled towards the core for some reason? Seems like volcanoes are a major carbon source on Earth over geologic timescales, which would suggest that something similar might happen here.

    Regardless, lunar regolith analysis has shown it to be various silicon and metal oxides - about 40% oxygen, 20% silicon, 13% iron, and progressively smaller amounts of calcium, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium, and 1% "other"

    There should be at least some carbon available from asteroids which could be excavated from impact craters, but that's a much more involved endeavor than just scooping up regolith into electrolytic magma refineries to extract oxygen, steel, etc.

    It may well be that any lunar colony has fossil fuels as one of its major imports - not for energy, but as a conveniently dense source of the carbon and hydrogen necessary for a growing ecology.

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