Entering the Decade of Results: International Space Station Benefits for Humanity Publication Released

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The 2022 edition of the International Space Station Benefits for Humanity publication is now available. This updated edition is packed with numerous benefits of the microgravity laboratory highlighting groundbreaking discoveries helping society, technologies tested for future space exploration, new scientific breakthroughs, and contributions to the growing low-Earth orbit (LEO) economy.

Over more than two decades, the International Space Station has evolved into an advanced microgravity laboratory for human space operations and science. The space station offers researchers worldwide the opportunity to utilize the unique environmental conditions of LEO, supporting hundreds of experiments across every major scientific field at any given time. With over 20 years of research and 3,300 experiments hosted aboard the station, now more than ever discoveries and developments are taking shape. The station’s ability to foster research has aided in the growing commercial space economy allowing new players to enter the space marketplace and launching flourishing businesses back on Earth.

“This edition focuses on new areas of scientific study that are resulting from the last two decades of ISS research, future technologies for the exploration of the Moon and Mars, lifesaving discoveries, and the companies and economic benefits enabled by this research.” said Dr. Kirt Costello, chief scientist for the space station at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

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Rocket Propulsion Company’s 3D-Printing Lab Delivers First Rocket Engine Components

Ursa Major’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab in Youngstown, Ohio Cuts Time to Produce Rocket Engine Components from 6 Months to 1 Month

Rocket propulsion company Ursa Major’s Advanced Manufacturing Lab in Youngstown, Ohio, where its EOS laser powder bed fusion 3D printer (left) produces rocket engine components on demand. Technician Ty Barzak setting up for a new build (right). (Image Credit: Ursa Major)

DENVER (Ursa Major PR) — Ursa Major, America’s only privately funded company that focuses solely on rocket propulsion, delivered its first copper-based 3D-printed rocket engine combustion chambers out of its additive manufacturing (3D-printing) lab in Youngstown, Ohio, compressing the production and delivery cycle to one month, compared to a minimum of six months using traditional manufacturing processes. These advanced copper alloy-based engine components will be tested for space launch and hypersonic applications.

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NASA’s New Material Built to Withstand Extreme Conditions

This turbine engine combustor (fuel-air mixer) was 3D-printed at NASA Glenn and is one example of a challenging component that can benefit from applying the new GRX-810 alloys. (Credits: NASA)

CLEVELAND (NASA PR) — NASA innovators recently developed a new metal alloy using a 3D printing process that dramatically improves the strength and durability of the components and parts used in aviation and space exploration, resulting in better and longer-lasting performance.

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Continuous Composites Selected by NASA for Additive Manufacturing of Low CTE Open Isogrid Composite Structure

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (Continuous Composites PR)Continuous Composites, a pioneer of advanced® composite 3D printing technology, has been chosen by NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to additively manufacture low Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE) open isogrid composite structures for space applications, using its patented Continuous Fiber 3D Printing technology, CF3D®.

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Panel Urges Government, Industry Action to Improve Battered Space Supply Chain

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

LONG BEACH, Calif. — The question of how to strengthen the U.S. space industry’s weakened supply chain, which has been battered over the past two years by the global COVID-19 pandemic, was the subject of a panel discussion at the Space Tech Expo last week. The answers boiled down to the Pentagon adopting an agile approach to developing and acquiring technology, and reversing a decades-old trend by industry of outsourcing manufacturing abroad.

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Mitsubishi Electric Develops Technology for the Freeform Printing of Satellite Antennas in Outer Space

On-orbit manufacturing and deployment of a satellite antenna in space (from left). (Credit: Mitsubishi Electric Corporation)

New photosensitive resin harnesses solar radiation for low-power 3D printing in vacuum

TOKYO, May 17, 2022 – Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that the company has developed an on-orbit additive-manufacturing technology that uses photosensitive resin and solar ultraviolet light for the 3D printing of satellite antennas in the vacuum of outer space. The novel technology makes use of a newly developed liquid resin that was custom formulated for stability in vacuum. The resin enables structures to be fabricated in space using a low-power process that utilizes the sun’s ultraviolet rays for photopolymerization.

The technology specifically addresses the challenge of equipping small, inexpensive spacecraft buses with large structures, such as high-gain antenna reflectors, and enables on-orbit fabrication of structures that greatly exceed the dimensions of launch vehicle fairings. Resin-based on-orbit manufacturing is expected to enable spacecraft structures to be made thinner and lighter than conventional designs, which must survive the stresses of launch and orbital insertion, thereby reducing both total satellite weight and launch costs.

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NASA Funds 3 Small Business Projects Focused on In-situ Use of Lunar Resources

Astronaut working on the moon (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA has selected three companies to continue development of technologies that will allow Artemis astronauts to extract oxygen from and 3D print parts using lunar regolith under the space agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The Phase II awards to Blueshift, L’Garde and Air Squared are worth up to $750,000 apiece over 24 months. Each company previously received Phase I awards to begin developing the technologies.

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X-Bow Launch Systems Emerges From Stealth, Unveils 3D Printed Solid Rocket Motor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., March 22, 2022 (X-Bow Launch Systems PR) — X-Bow Launch Systems Inc. (X-Bow), a revolutionary American space technology company focused on 3D printed energetics, announced today that it has exited stealth mode. X-Bow (pronounced “cross-bow”) brings to market its solid fuel rocket motors, along with a suite of small launch vehicles for both orbital and suborbital launch services. Customers already include the U.S. Air Force Research Labs and AFWERX, Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs, as well as the Defense Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Since its founding in 2016, X-Bow has focused on the design and development of 3D printed solid rocket motors that are more efficient and considerably more cost effective than traditional motors. X-Bow’s new class of highly flexible, reliable and ultra-responsive solid rocket motors introduces new products to a market that has not seen significant technological change for decades. 

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ESRIC Unveils First Five Start-ups Selected as Part of “Start-up Support Programme”

ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE, Luxembourg (ESRIC PR) — Following the first call for applications, the European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) has selected the five start-ups to participate in the “Start-up Support Programme” (SSP) and begin their pre-incubation in April 2022.

Based in Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg, ESRIC is Europe’s leading research and innovation centre in the field of space resources. Launched in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), and Technoport (Luxembourg’s main technology incubator), ESRIC’s Start-up Support Programme (SSP) aims to support early-stage start-ups in the space resources sector, to develop their business models, attract their first customers and secure their first investments. Targeting terrestrial and/or space applications, the Start-up Support Programme is managed jointly with ESA.

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Unlimited 3D Printing for Space

IMPERIAL 3D printer (Credit: BEEVERYCREATIVE)

PARIS (ESA PR) — A standard 3D printer cannot produce anything bigger than the size limits of the printer itself. But this new IMPERIAL 3D printer, designed for use in space by a Europe-wide industrial consortium, can print high performance polymer parts of unlimited size along one dimension.

What is also known as ‘Additive manufacturing’ is an essential enabling technology for deep space crewed missions. Built to operate in weightlessness – meaning it can work upside down on Earth – this printer has been specially designed with ‘out-of-Earth’ manufacturing in mind, enabling future space explorers to produce structures, tools and spare parts as needed.

The project was undertaken for ESA by a consortium led by OHB in Germany, with Azimut Space in Germany, Athlone Institute of Technology in the Republic of Ireland and BEEVERYCREATIVE in Portugal developing the 3D printer. Now this ground-based prototype is complete, the next step would be to test it in orbit aboard the International Space Station.

NRAO and Optisys Partner Up to Produce 3D Devices for Radio Astronomy

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NRAO PR) — Recent advancements in 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing) for metallic structures make it possible to print all-metal electromagnetic devices—like antennas and waveguides—on demand. A new partnership between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Optisys, LLC, headquartered in West Valley City, Utah, will explore the potential for leveraging this technology for radio astronomy applications.

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Russian 3D Printer to be Tested on ISS in 2022

Russian 3D printer (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — It is planned to conduct a 3D printing experiment on the Russian segment of the International Space Station, dedicated to the development of additive technologies for the production of products from polymer materials in space conditions. To do this, in June 2022, a 3D printer will be brought to the ISS on the Progress MS-20 cargo ship.

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Launcher Names Tim Berry as Head of Manufacturing

Tim Berry, Head of Manufacturing (Credit: Launcher)

The former Manager of Additive Manufacturing at SpaceX will lead Launcher’s Additive and Machining capabilities and build world-class Production and Integration systems for Launcher’s products.

HAWTHORNE, Calif., February 15, 2022 (Launcher PR) – Launcher (launcherspace.com), an industry-leading developer of highly efficient rockets and transfer vehicles, has appointed Tim Berry as its Head of Manufacturing.

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Deep Blue Aerospace Raises Nearly $31.5 Million for Partially Reusable Launch Vehicle

Grasshopper test vehicle in flight. (Credit: Deep Blue Aerospace)

Translated from Chinese by Google Translate

NANTONG CITY, China (Jiangsu Deep Blue Aerospace PR) — On January 18th, Jiangsu Deep Blue Aerospace Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as: Deep Blue Aerospace) announced the completion of the A round of financing of nearly 200 million yuan. This round of financing was led by Zhencheng Investment, Detong Capital, Ou Rui Capital, Galaxy Ventures, Zhuoyuan Capital co-invested. 

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NASA Selects 8 Early Stage Tech Innovations from US Universities

Illustration of Artemis astronauts on the Moon. NASA’s Artemis mission will establish a sustainable presence on the Moon to prepare for missions to Mars. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Research and development in labs across the country today could lead to enhanced capabilities in space in the future. NASA has selected eight university-led research proposals to study early-stage technologies relating to advanced materials, quantum communications, and more.

Each selection will receive up to $650,000 in grants from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants program over up to three years, giving the university teams the time and resources to iterate multiple designs and solutions.

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