SpaceX is re-inventing space travel, 3D printing is playing a role

The exploration of the heavens has probably been part of the human psyche ever since we evolved the capability to look upwards.

SpaceX is a relatively new force in the space industry and are taking on some crazy hard problems with a fresh silicon valley mindset. On the agenda for the SpaceX team are such items as rapidly re-usable spacecraft. This is a game changer, and it’s achievement will herald a truly new era in space-flight.

 

Re-usable space-craft. A big yes from Portabee.

One of our team had the opportunity to visit the factory in Hawthorne, California in January. It was quite an experience and our team member was especially taken with the 3D printers creating production parts (for flight!).

The SpaceX team have most recently flown a 3D printed valve part for the Merlin engine. The flight was a success and the 3D printed valve operated well.

The entire engine chamber of the new SuperDraco thrusters is also 3D printed.

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The chamber of the new SuperDraco thruster

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Chamber fires like a champ, 3D printing win

 

SuperDraco doing it’s thing

The world is watching as SpaceX engineers (and 3D prints!) a new path to the stars.

 


Read more at the SpaceX blog »