Relativity Space’s 10-story-tall Terran 1 rocket will encounter the most extreme aerodynamic forces of its eight-minute test flight around 80 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral. That’s a key moment when the company’s engineers hope to confirm the 3D-printed rocket can withstand the rigors of launch.
The expendable Terran 1 rocket is set to blast off from Launch Complex 16 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station during a three-hour window opening at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) Wednesday. Forecasters expect good weather for the launch of Relativity Space’s first rocket.
Read our mission preview story for details on Relativity Space and the Terran 1 test flight.
The 110-foot-tall (33.5-meter) rocket will be powered up for final pre-flight checkouts early Wednesday.
• T-minus 7 hours: Vehicle power-up and checkouts
• T-minus 4 hours: Personnel clear the launch pad; Methane and liquid oxygen loading begins
• T-minus 60 minutes: Propellant loading complete
• T-minus 16 minutes: Launch director performs pre-launch readiness poll
• T-minus 10 minutes: Automated countdown sequence begins
In the final 10 minutes of the countdown, the Terran 1 rocket’s nine methane-fueled Aeon 1 engines will be thermally conditioned for flight through a procedure known as chilldown. The ignitors will be primed, and the Terran 1 will switch from its ground power supply to internal power. The strongback at the launch pad will be partially retracted in the final minutes before launch.
• T-minus 1 minute, 10 seconds: Terminal countdown begins to run checks for launch commit criteria
• T-minus 6 seconds: Ignition of Terran 1’s nine Aeon 1 main engines; Automated health check begins
• T-minus 0 seconds: Four hold-down devices release the Terran 1 rocket for liftoff
• T+plus 0 seconds: Liftoff of the Terran 1; Nine Aeon 1 engines producing 207,000 pounds of thrust
• T+plus 12 seconds: Engine thrust vector controllers begin pitching the Terran 1 rocket downrange
• T+plus 1 minute, 20 seconds: Maximum aerodynamic pressure
• T+plus 2 minutes, 40 seconds: First stage main engine cutoff
• T+plus 2 minutes, 45 seconds: Terran 1’s 80-foot-long first stage separates from the second stage
• T+plus 2 minutes, 51 seconds: Ignition of Aeon Vac engine producing 25,400 pounds of thrust
• T+plus 7 minutes, 43 seconds: Second stage engine cutoff
• T+plus 8 minutes: Terran 1 in orbit
ROCKET: Terran 1
PAYLOAD: “Good Luck, Have Fun” test flight; No customer payload
LAUNCH SITE: LC-16, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida
LAUNCH DATE: March 8, 2023
LAUNCH WINDOW: 1:00-4:00 p.m. EST (1800-2100 GMT)
WEATHER FORECAST: 90% chance of acceptable weather
BOOSTER RECOVERY: None
LAUNCH AZIMUTH: East
TARGET ORBIT: 124 miles by 130 miles (365 kilometers by 373 kilometers), 28.5 degrees inclination
- 1st launch by Relativity Space
- 1st launch of Terran 1 rocket
- 151st launch from Launch Complex 16
- 12th orbital launch attempt based out of Cape Canaveral in 2023
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