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3D-Printed Rocket Engines & The Future of Spaceflight

3D-Printed Rocket Engines & The Future of Spaceflight

Written by David

May 31, 2019

Testing the 3D-printed Launcher E1-LOXCOOL725 LOX/RP-1 liquid rocket engine, printed with copper alloy and cooled with liquid oxygen. Captured during an oxygen rich transient. (Image courtesy of Launcher.) Getting off of this planet isn’t easy, even after we’ve spent more than half a century doing it. In that time, the strategy generally involved going big, like the Saturn V . It’s still a viable approach today— just look at SpaceX’s BFR —but as the private sector space race heats up, aerospace companies are starting to reconsider how they design and manufacture launch vehicles. Metal 3D printing has been one of the principle drivers of this paradigm shift, unlocking new geometries and features that were impossible to make using more conventional manufacturing methods. 3D-Printing Rocket Engines – SpaceX and The Early Adopters “Some of the early adopters, like SpaceX, jumped on this bandwagon way back—it’s probably been almost eight years […]

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