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They use 3D printing to create a rocket engine


They use 3D printing to create a rocket engine

The company Aerojet Rocketdyne has managed to create a complete rocket engine using 3D printing, which is capable of withstanding tests at high temperatures.

3D printing is becoming one of the most exploited and used technologies in recent years. Ever since mass production began, and of course the fact that anyone can now buy one for a relatively low price (most commercial models cost around $1,000), or even build one for themselves, it has become clear to us that 3D printing will key part of many markets where you want to take advantage of it.

The development of new technologies for space exploration is no exception.

the american company Aerojet Rocketdyneexperts in the development and manufacture of rockets, has managed to create a complete rocket engine using only 3D printing, a milestone that could change the way astronauts are propelled into space. considerably reducing the cost of each launchwhich is a benefit for space programs.

A couple of years ago the United States government canceled the space shuttle program of the POT. Its cost was simply too high. Few know that every NASA shuttle launch had a cost of 450 million dollarsAnd if we are talking about a space program that had more than 130 launch missions over three decades, the number is exorbitant.

Aerojet Rocketdyne wants to make space travel less expensive, and 3D printing is a vital technology for that. The prototype rocket engine they have designed has a production cost of up to 65% lower than that of a traditional engine.and its potential leaves nothing to be desired.

3D printing subjected to more than 3000 degrees Celsius

In 2013, NASA announced that it had managed to manufacture some parts of rocket engines using 3D printing, notably including the injector, one of the most important parts in any type of engine. Of course, it is not a traditional 3D printing processbut one that uses a very powerful special laser to melt and mix fine metal powders into three dimensional structures.

Aerojet’s pusher engine advantage, model “Baby Bantam”is that it has managed to reduce and facilitate the manufacturing process of an engine of its type, given that it normally consists of dozens of parts, but this prototype only has three different parts, so the manufacturing time of one of these would be reduced engines from over a year to just two months.

The prototype injector was able to withstand heat tests in excess of 3000 degrees centigrade. Of course, being a smaller scale version of a traditional engine of this type, its force or thrust is less, but the idea of ​​this research is to use this technology to make real and functional models to propel the rockets of the future into space. .

3D printing will be very present in the future of space exploration, There’s no doubt. On the one hand we have projects like this engine, and on the other, how useful it will be to have a 3D printer in a station or spacecraft. The idea of ​​having a parts and tool factory on board a mission that lasts for months is all too appealing.