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NASA Successfully Tests 3-D Printed Rocket Engine Fuel Pump

NASA Successfully Tests 3-D Printed Rocket Engine Fuel Pump

Bill Kobren

Check out the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center article “Successful NASA Rocket Fuel Pump Tests Pave Way for 3-D Printed Demonstrator Engine.”


According to NASA, “one of the most complex, 3-D printed rocket engine parts ever made, a turbopump, got its “heartbeat” racing at more than 90,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) during a successful series of tests with liquid hydrogen propellant at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. These tests along with manufacturing and testing of injectors and other rocket engine parts are paving the way for advancements in 3-D printing of complex rocket engines and more efficient production of future spacecraft. Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, is a key technology for enhancing space vehicle designs and enabling affordable missions to Mars. The turbopump is a critical rocket engine component with a turbine that spins and generates more than 2,000 horsepower--twice the horsepower of a NASCAR engine. 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.”


This is a big deal. Rapidly evolving Additive Manufacturing technologies and capabilities such as this have the potential to not only reshape, but to literally transform supply chains and supply chain management of the future. For additional information and insights, encourage you to also peruse our Additive Manufacturing references and resources site on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP).