‘I will be here’: Scrubbed 3D-printed rocket launch isn’t turning people away from second try

Space fans have to wait a few more days to watch the first-ever 3D-printed rocket lift off. It was a disappointing day at Jetty Park as people gathered from all over the country to see the historic launch which was originally scheduled for Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Numerous people say the setback isn’t turning them away from the next launch opportunity. "When they held it at 1:10, I was like oh, come on," said Mike Kupiec who was at Jetty Park for the launch. He’s on vacation from upstate New York and says a launch was on his bucket list.

Relativity Space tried numerous times to lift off, but they only had a three-hour launch window on Wednesday to make it happen on the first try. They had to scrub the mission due to technical issues. Early in the countdown, they had problems with oxygen temperatures in the rocket’s second stage. Space experts say a scrub is always the right call. 

"Delays are always expected, and we got to remember safety is paramount," said Dr. Ken Kremer who’s a scientist and founder of Space UpClose. "This must succeed. It is much better to keep the rocket on the ground than to launch it than have it blow up or go off course."

Approximately 85% of the Terran 1 rocket is made in a 3D printer. The company’s long-term goal is to make 95% of a total rocket in a 3D printer. Relativity Space is using this cutting-edge technology to speed up manufacturing and take the aerospace industry to new levels. 

"A rocket this large, 110 feet tall, that’s going to go up as a test run for the first time ever – how can you not be here and see that?" exclaimed Denise Maron. She came out to Jetty Park at 10:30 a.m. to see the launch. "I always see it on YouTube and the internet, so I figured - why not come down and see it for myself," Kupiec added.

The setback is more of a schedule change for fans who say they’ll be here when history is made. "A lot’s riding on this. It’s the first 3D rocket. We all want it to succeed," Kremer concluded. "I’m waiting to see when they’re going to set the next date, and I will be here," said Maron.

The next launch opportunity is Saturday, March 11 from 1-3 p.m.