NASA‘s renewed efforts to return humans to the moon by 2024 has led to advances in new space technologies to improve processes, and reduce costs and development time. In early December 2020, we learned that engineers at the U.S. space agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama successfully hot-fire tested 3D printed components for rocket engines. The copper alloy combustion chamber and nozzle were made of a high-strength, hydrogen-resistant alloy and could withstand the same extreme combustion environments that traditionally manufactured metal structures experience in flight. This huge milestone could pave the way for 3D printed parts aboard new rockets. FULL ARTICLE
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NASA has selected 17 U.S. companies for 20 partnerships to mature industry-developed space technologies for the Moon and beyond through the Space Technology Mission Directorate’s 2020 Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity (ACO).
The selected proposals are relevant to technology topic areas outlined in the solicitation, including cryogenic fluid management and propulsion; advanced propulsion; sustainable power; in-situ propellant and consumable production; intelligent/resilient systems and advanced robotics; advanced materials and structures; entry, descent, and landing; and small spacecraft technologies.
The selections will result in unfunded Space Act Agreements between the companies and NASA. NASA centers will work with the companies to provide expertise and access to the agency’s unique testing facilities. The total estimated value of agency resources to support the agreements is approximately $15.5 million.
Elementum will work with Marshall to increase the performance and reduce the cost of additively manufactured aluminum materials. The partnership aims to advance large-scale directed energy deposition – an additive manufacturing process – of high-strength aluminum alloys for complex rocket components and launch structures. The capability could be used broadly by the aerospace, automotive, and other industries.
The U.S. Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO) has announced the conclusion of its first Advanced Manufacturing Olympics (AMO), with five technical design challenge winners and a total of nearly $1M in prizes.
The virtual event, which took place from October 20 – 23, brought together a whole host of industry experts, academics, and government personnel to witness the potential of advanced manufacturing, including 3D printing, in the defense sector. Aside from the technical challenges, the conference comprised a number technology demonstrations, presentations from high-profile speakers, and virtual networking segments. FULL ARTICLE