3D printed rocket fails to reach orbit, now somewhere in Atlantic Ocean

The world’s first 3D-printed rocket is floating somewhere off the Space Coast. Finding pieces of it may be possible, but it’s also dangerous, and people need to be careful.

Relativity Space did successfully launch its historic rocket late on Wednesday night after two scrubbed missions. The rocket’s engines worked through the first stage but failed to reach orbit.

With the rocket still on earth, it’s likely someone could spot some of the debris of the Terran 1 rocket where 85% of it was made by a printer. Now, pieces of the 110-foot rocket are in the water off the Space Coast. 

It may be tempting to touch if you find any of the pieces, but scientists say the debris could be hazardous to humans.

"I’m a chemist. I work with a lot of dangerous chemicals, and that’s what this is," said Dr. Ken Kremer who founded space publication Space UpClose. "There’s a lot of dangerous chemicals on that rocket, the residues – they’re charred, so they could be very caustic, stinging, they could burn through your skin potentially, so you don’t want to have anything like that."

If you do end up seeing pieces of this rocket, Kremer says you can take a picture of the historic debris but make sure you call local authorities immediately, so they can move forward with safely removing the rocket. 

Right now, Relativity Space is looking at what caused the second-stage engine failure that kept the rocket here on earth. The company says they’ll provide updates on their data and a new timeline for technology testing in the coming days.