NASA Team Moves Closer To Building A 3D Printed Rocket Engine

NASA is moving step by step closer to building a completely 3D printed high-performance rocket engine. NASA has been able to print complex rocket engine using 3D printing which is an achievement in itself. Later on, these part were put together with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen to produce 20,000 pounds of thrust.
3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a key technology in enhancing space vehicle designs. Using 3D modeling and 3D simulation, it becomes easier to optimize the design of, not only the rocket engine but also, the aerodynamics of the spacecraft. It is foreseen that the more advancement in this futuristic technology has the potential to influence spacecraft and spaceships leaving earth for the other destinations. Future plans for the space fuels on the other hands include performing engine tests with liquid oxygen and methane. Liquid Oxygen and Methane have been chosen as the propellant because the production of these gases might be possible on the Mars.

“We manufactured and then tested about 75 percent of the parts needed to build a 3-D printed rocket engine, by testing the turbopumps, injectors and valves together, we’ve shown that it would be possible to build a 3-D printed engine for multiple purposes such as lenders, in-space propulsion or rocket engine upper stages.”
– said Elizabeth Robertson, the project manager for 3D manufactured engine at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.
Thus, this month so far has seen second good news in the field of space technology after Space X rocket was able to land on the Earth again.
3D printing is also known as additive printing because of the fact that different parts of a rocket engine such as turbopumps and injectors and manufactured individually and as well as tested individually. To test them together, these parts are connected together and then tested together to check the working configuration of the entire engine. Below is the video of the rocket engine producing thrust.

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