3D printers have definitely revolutionized the technological industry as the printed objects are a success and even NASA 3D printed rocket works.
- NASA successfully tested parts of the rocket
- Manufacturing such equipment is a lot cheaper
- NASA might send the rocket into space
Of course NASA is by far at the top of the science and technological chain, but it is still hard to imagine a rocket made from 3D printed parts that actually works and that NASA plans to send in space and not just for a stroll but with an actual destination: Mars.
You might find this maybe a bit ‘eccentric’ and you might be wondering why NASA would need a 3D printed rocket. Despite the fact that they already have proper equipment they could use for space exploration, that equipment is very expensive. Very expensive to make and also expensive to take care of. On the other hand, 3D printed parts are a lot cheaper and work just as well when it comes to space transportation. It turns out that the team in charge of the project needed less materials and less equipment to build the most complex part of the rocket, which is the turbopump. Apparently they needed 45 per cent less than they usually need to build the complex system. Which translates not only into ‘cheaper’ but also into ‘easier’ to make.
After creating the printed parts, NASA started testing them. All of the parts performed very well on the tests and by the scientists’ calculations, the engine will produce about 90,000 RPMs which equals about 20,000 pounds of thrust. All of it sounds pretty amazing when you come to think all of it is made by an industrial 3D printer.
The parts were subjected to seven consecutive tests and passed them all, resisting a temperature of over 3000 degrees Celsius. There are still a few more parts to undergo testing, but NASA scientists are optimistic and think that all of them will perform well. If this happens, then the agency could start thinking of building even more complex equipment for space travel.
All in all, if everything goes well after testing all the components, there is a chance that NASA will be sending this 3D printed rocket into space, to test if it can ‘survive’ there. If the mission is a success, the space agency will go on manufacturing 3D printed equipment for their spaceships.
Image source: www.bing.com