NASA’s 3D-Printed Rocket Engine Spews Fire and 20,000 Pounds of Thrust
This NASA rocket is, bewilderingly, mainly built from 3D-printed parts. And yet pumped full of liquid hydrogen and oxygen it spews flame and generates an insane 20,000 pounds of thrust.
NASA has been developing 3D-printed rocket engines for a while now. But in its latest test, it’s pieced together a rocket engine where 75 percent of the components are 3D-printed—the highest proportion yet.
In these videos, you can see the team from Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama putting it through its paces. That saw the engine burning fuel at temperatures above 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, while the fuel pumps supplying liquid hydrogen were as cold as -400 degrees Fahrenheit. With the pump running at 90,000 revolutions per minute, the engine generated over 20,000 pounds of thrust. One of the runs even lasted a full ten seconds.