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Aerojet Rocketdyne to Mature 3D Printed MPS-130 CubeSat Propulsion System for NASA

by • August 14, 2016 • No Comments

ero“We didn’t invent 3D printing, but we certain are createing it better.” – Aerojet Rocketdyne

Next to the medical field, as we follow the worthwhile effects 3D printing is createing on the world, which of aerospace is right at the top of the list. Whilst a few are yet confutilized of the actual importance of 3D printing as it hasn’t really affected them personally yet, it’s significant to ponder on a much bigger scale. And there’s not much of a bigger scale than space.

For those who are cynical of the innovation, pointing back to the continual donate of keychains and figurines (we all have to begin a fewwhere, thank you!) being pumped out in plastic at the computer desktop, when you take a appear at how long NASA has been involved with additive manufacturing—and how most parts they are via now—well, which’s astounding. Not just which, for the reason of numerous 3D printed parts, larger components are being created which may not have been possible previously, and quite not with such a level of customization, speed, and affordability.

download (15)We learn additional of NASA and their plans continually, enabling for an education not just in the importance of 3D printed parts at the present time, but in addition really just in how space travel is considered and what the next holds. It is quite darned awe-inspiring, as you are most likely aware. And innovation such as 3D printing has been playing a well-publicized part in all things of space suits for travel to Mars to 3D printed rocket engines. And when you couple the space innovation excitement of NASA with the latest of Aerojet Rocketdyne, the details begin to get intense.

Headquartered in Sacramento, CA, Aerojet Rocketdyne is another industry biggie which we report on frequently. Most not long ago we’ve followed their progress as the company known for their aerospace and defense solutions has been setting significant standards regarding engine parts being created for the US Air Force. Now, they’ve signed a contract with NASA regarding a propulsion process for an MPS-130 CubeSat propulsion process to employ a green propellant, AF-M315E.

The modular process can be created of approximately completely 3D printed parts, and as new innovation at the present time frequently lords over additional conventional methods, the new green propellant can allow for excellenter efficiency and higher performance in comparision to hydrazine propellant, famously utilized in the F-16 fighter jets.

“This is an awe-inspiring opportunity to advance innovation past its ‘tipping point’ into a innovative new product family,” said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. “This new class of CubeSat propulsion processs can be utilized in next NASA, military and commercial undertakings, and the benefits for the public and private sectors can be immense.”

“Not just can it allow operators to increase the in-space capability of CubeSats and SmallSats, but it can allow them to operate additional affordably and efficiently, and with a safer propellant.”

With the MPS-130, we should be hearing a excellent deal additional in the next, as it can allow these ‘sats’ much excellenter capabilities, to include:

Extended undertaking lifeIncreased architecture resiliencyManeuvering to lower and higher orbitsComplex proximity operations and formation flying

And as is usually the case in aerospace projects, the benefits of 3D printing can be on display in their full glory as the number of parts required for a create are lessened, productivity is increased in terms of assembly, and speed is accelerated overall—translating to savings for satellites owned by both the private and public sector.


This partnership came of as Aerojet Rocketdyne excelled as a choice under the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate’s “Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies” solicitation. The goal, unsurprisingly ambitious, is to take a current innovation and and so advance it beyond its ‘tipping point.’ NASA sees this as a way to do several things:

Enable the private industry to create innovationStimulate the commercial space industryDeliver the required innovation and capabilities for next undertakings and commercial applications

In appearing for a tipping point, it may quite seem which NASA couldn’t manufacture a additional powerful choice, as Aerojet Rocketdyne is known for offering solutions of the world in the areas of propulsion and energetics, as well as defense processs for both the US and other countries. Everyone wins here as a excellent product can be created via 3D printing, space exploration is supported additional, and we all get to see the awe-inspiring results as this innovation is carried additional into the next. Discuss additional in the 3D Printed MPS-130 forum over at 3DPB.com.

[Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne]