NASA Tests Complex, 3D-Printed Rocket Engine

Published by , August 31, 2015 11:10 am

(PuneMirror) — A turbopump, 3D-printed rocket engine was test-raced at more than 90,000 revolutions per minute during a successful series of trials using liquid hydrogen propellant at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Over the course of 15 tests, the turbopump reached full power, delivering 1,200 gallons of cryogenic liquid hydrogen per minute — enough to power an upper stage rocket engine capable of generating 35,000 pounds of thrust.

“Designing, building, and testing a 3D-printed rocket part as complex as the fuel pump was crucial to Marshall’s upcoming tests of an additively manufactured demonstrator engine made almost entirely with 3D printed parts,” said Mary Beth Koelbl, deputy manager of Marshall’s propulsion systems department.

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