August 3, 2014

...AND CHEAPER...:

SpaceX is launching rockets made with parts produced by a 3-D printer (CHAD GARLAND, 8/03/14, LA Times)

SpaceX is printing rocket parts, including the thrust chamber on the engines for its Dragon V2 spacecraft, which it hopes will one day deliver NASA astronauts to the International Space Station.

The Hawthorne rocket maker announced Thursday that a Falcon 9 launch in January marked the first time it flew a part into space that was created using an additive manufacturing technique, popularly known as 3-D printing.

One of nine Merlin engines on the Falcon 9 included a printed part, known as a main oxidizer valve body, that houses the valve controlling the flow of liquid oxygen into the engine's combustion chamber. It operated successfully under super-cold temperatures and high vibration, the company said.
Posted by at August 3, 2014 8:28 AM
  
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