Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

NASA Tests 3D Printed Rocket Part

 

NASA engineers successfully tested an RS-25 rocket engine with a large, 3D-printed part for the first time on December 13th. The test marked a key step toward reducing costs for engines that power NASA’s Space Launch System.

The 400-second hot-fire test was conducted at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, using NASA’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine component, the pogo accumulator assembly.

During flight, rockets may experience a series of powerful vibrations that occur due to the engines and propellant in the feed lines. The vibration is described as being “similar to the up-and-down motion of bouncing on a pogo stick,” thus giving it the name “pogo effect.” The 3D-printed part that was tested is a piece of hardware that regulates liquid oxygen movement in the engine, allowing it to act as a shock-absorber and prevent the vibrations that can destabilize a rocket’s flight.

 

 

Andy Hardin, SLS engine integration hardware manager, discussed plans for the RS-25 and NASA’s attempts at reducing costs while ensuring safety and reliability. “As we build future RS-25s,” said Hardin, “NASA and our partners are taking advantage of innovative manufacturing techniques, including additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, to make the engines more affordable. 3D printing is revolutionizing manufacturing, and the pogo accumulator is the first of many components that can be built more quickly and less expensively.”

NASA selected the RS-25 engine to leverage the assets, capabilities, and experience of the Space Shuttle Program. 3D-printing the pogo accumulator further reduced costs by eliminating over 100 welds and lowering production time by more than 80 per cent. According to RS-25 engine lead Carol Jacobs, NASA is not stopping there. Jacobs stated, “With modern fabrication processes, including additive manufacturing, the next generation of the RS-25 will have fewer parts and welds. Reducing the number of welds is very important. With each weld comes inspections and possible rework. By eliminating welds, we make the hardware more reliable and the process much more lean and efficient, which makes it more cost-effective.”

The test marks the eighth RS-25 test for the year and the sixth flight controller to be tested for use on the Space Launch System vehicle. The RS-25 engines are leftover space shuttle main engines, which are modified to supply the added power needed for the larger, heavier SLS rocket. Part of that modification includes the new engine controller that serves as the brain of the engine, allowing t to communicate with SLS flight computers and ensure engines are performing at optimum levels. Four RS-25 engines will help power the SLS at launch with two million pounds of thrust.

The SLS will enable a new era of exploration beyond Earth’s orbit, launching astronauts on deep-space exploration missions to the moon and eventually to Mars. The SLS Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) will serve as the first flight for the new rocket and carry the Orion spacecraft. The EM-2 flight will transport a crew of astronauts aboard Orion.

 

 


Sources:

NASA – Testing

NASA – Testing

NASA – Space Launch System

 

 

Latest Stories

NASA Tests 3D Printed Rocket Part

NASA Tests 3D Printed Rocket Part

  NASA engineers successfully tested an RS-25 rocket engine with a large, 3D-printed part for the first time on December 13th. The test marked a key step toward reducing costs for engines that power NASA’s Space Launch System. The 400-second hot-fire test was conducted at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, using NASA’s largest 3D-printed rocket engine…

NASA Invests in Concept Development for Missions

NASA Invests in Concept Development for Missions

    NASA has selected two finalist concepts for a robotic mission that is set to launch in 2020. The competition featured a series of concepts limited to the following six mission themes: Comet surface sample return Lunar south pole-Aitken Basin sample return Ocean worlds (Titan and/or Enceladus) Saturn probe Trojan asteroid tour and rendezvous…

NASA Discovers Eighth Planet Circling Distant Star

NASA Discovers Eighth Planet Circling Distant Star

  NASA scientists recently discovered an eighth planet circling Kepler-90, a Sun-like star located approximately 2,545 lightyears from Earth. The planet, Kepler-90i, was discovered using data obtained from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler-90i is a “sizzling hot,” rocky planet in the Kepler 90 solar system, orbiting its star once every 14.4 days. Paul Hertz, director…

Tesla Announces New All-Electric Semis

Tesla Announces New All-Electric Semis

​   As global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and adhere to international treaty commitments have gained momentum, Tesla announced its new electric semi, allowing companies to reduce their carbon footprint by switching from fuel to clean energy. CEO Elon Musk claimed the truck can reach a speed of 250 miles per hour and that…

November Nonfarm Payrolls Data

November Nonfarm Payrolls Data

  ​The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data from the Current Population Survey (household survey) and the Current Employment Statistics survey (establishment survey). The household survey provides information on employment and unemployment and is a sample survey of 60,000 eligible households. The establishment survey provides information on employment, hours, and earnings of employees on…

NASA Tests Distant Voyager Spacecraft

NASA Tests Distant Voyager Spacecraft

  ​Twin spacecrafts Voyager 1 and 2 launched in 1977, 16 days apart. The Voyager missions were the first to discover active volcanoes beyond Earth, which were found on Jupiter’s moon, Io. They also discovered hints of a subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. ​To accurately fly past Voyager’s instruments, engineers used trajectory correction maneuver…

Five Barrels of Water Produced Per Barrel of Oil

Five Barrels of Water Produced Per Barrel of Oil

    Oil wells across the globe are producing increasing amounts of water in order to meet technical requirements at installations. This sidesteps the need to tap the natural water supply and discharge the water into the environment. This common practice, reinjection, will result in the production of nearly 12.7 billion gallons of water per…

China’s Drive for Clean Energy Results in Winter Gas Shortage

China’s Drive for Clean Energy Results in Winter Gas Shortage

​China’s efforts to manage its environmental impact, engage in green energy practices, and clear smog appear to have had an unintended side effect, resulting in a fuel supply shortage. A growing number of factories are either closing or operating at reduced capacity, profits are shrinking as supply chains are disrupted, and residents are struggling to…

Self-Healing Grids Developed

Self-Healing Grids Developed

  Many households are connected to an electric grid that supplies power so that we can accomplish daily tasks such as charging our phones, turning on lights and televisions, and powering appliances. Electric grids are described by the United States Department of Energy as interconnected groups of “power lines and associated equipment” used to move…

Global Response to Autonomous Vehicles

Global Response to Autonomous Vehicles

  Some Countries Have a More Positive Outlook than Others   Ford has been working on a number of technologies and surveys, recently releasing their 2018 Trends Report, which examines attitudes around the world on a wide variety of topics. One such topic of discussion was autonomous vehicles and global perception of the technology. In…

1 2 3 76Next →

Other Popular News and Stories

  • Miners struggling with higher costs, lower prices
  • SPPCA's new landing gear facility opening in Mississauga
  • Bombardier holds update on CSeries aircraft
  • Volkswagen to produce super-efficient hybrid
  • Russian leasing company orders 42 CSeries jets from Bombardier
  • DART Aerospace re-branding itself to reach wider markets
  • Clean energy expected to surge as pv costs drop
  • Canadian business, except energy, had profitable Q4: Statistics Canada
  • Economy managed slight growth in Q4, but shrank in December
  • FTG Aerospace to supply avionics to Rockwell Collins
  • BC refinery close to financing deal
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada announces helicopter engine contracts
  • Skilled labour shortage in world oil industry: report
  • RV industry has growing role in Canada's economy: study
  • Canadian oil production up; producers turning to railways for shipment
  • Canada keeping up pressure on US for Keystone XL approval
  • GM investing $250 million at Ingersoll plant
  • Manufacturing the sole industry showing job losses in February
  • Bombardier nearly ready to flight test CSeries
  • Japex to buy into west coast LNG development