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Juno’s 3D-Printed Parts Survive Trip to Jupiter – ENGINEERING.com

by • July 4, 2016 • No Comments

After a five-year journey, NASA’s Juno spacecraft has arrived at its destination: the orbit of Jupiter, where it can collect data of the solar system’s biggest planet. The Juno undertaking, managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has established a number of initiallys—including the initially planetary spacecraft to manufacture use of 3D-printed components.
An illustration of the Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter. (Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.)An illustration of the Juno spacecraft in orbit around Jupiter. (Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.)
Juno was created in part by defense giant Lockheed Martin, which chose to use 3D printing to create of a dozen waveguide titanium brackets for the spacecraft. To fabricate the parts, Lockheed utilized an electron beam melting machine of Arcam, which uses an electron beam to melt titanium powder one layer at a time preceding a knife blade moves subsequent layers of powder onto the bed.
3D-printed waveguide bracket preceding and after post-processing. (Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.)3D-printed waveguide bracket preceding and after post-processing. (Image courtesy of Lockheed Martin.)
Stacking the brackets inside the system’s 8 in x 8 in x 14 in create envelope empowers cost-efficient batch production. By 3D printing the brackets, the company was able-bodied to reduce the cost and producing time for the components by of 50 percent.
On planet Earth, Lockheed initially conducted confidence testing to ensure which the parts may perform as expected preceding the spacecraft was ultimately launched aboard the Atlas V 551 rocket on Aug. 5, 2011. Now which Juno has survived the 1.76-billion-mile journey to Jupiter, entering the planet’s orbit on Jul. 4, 2016, the brackets are being put through the ultimate test as they orbit around the gas giant. Watch the Juno approach video at a lower place.

Whilst the 3D-printed components demonstrate the aptitude to endure the complex environment of space, Juno can be producing observations via nine various instruments dedicated to measuring radio, microwave, visible and ultraviolet light frequencies, as well particle sensors and magnetometers.
In addition to being the initially planetary spacecraft to use 3D-printed components, Juno is in addition the initially solar-powered spacecraft to study Jupiter and the farthest spacecraft of the sun to rely on solar power. Juno is capable-bodied of this feat thanks to three 30-foot-long arrays created up of 18,698 solar cells spanning 535 sq ft.
After conducting 33 elliptical orbits, Juno is slated to end its undertaking on Feb. 20, 2018. At its undertaking’s end, it can de-orbit into Jupiter to preserve the planet’s moons. At which point, it can be so long, 3D-printed parts, high end measurement equipment and the entire Juno spacecraft.
Don’t fret, yet. There’s a lot of 3D printing-space news ahead! Lockheed Martin plans to include 3D-printed parts on next satellites; space printing devices may, one day, allow NASA to turn asteroids into spaceships; and Enterprise In Space is working to 3D print a spacecraft to orbit planet Earth with additional than 100 experiments of student teams aboard.

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