NASA 3-D Prints First Full-Scale Copper Rocket Engine Part

NASA engineers used 3-D printing to make the first full-scale copper engine part, a combustion chamber liner that operates at extreme temperatures and pressures. Structured light scanning, seen on the computer screen, helped verify that the part was built as it was designed. (Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)
NASA engineers used 3-D printing to make the first full-scale copper engine part, a combustion chamber liner that operates at extreme temperatures and pressures. Structured light scanning, seen on the computer screen, helped verify that the part was built as it was designed. (Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

HUNSTVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — When you think of copper, the penny in your pocket may come to mind; but NASA engineers are trying to save taxpayers millions of pennies by 3-D printing the first full-scale, copper rocket engine part.

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The Year in Commercial Space 2014 (Part II)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)
Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Second of 2 Stories

It was a busy year for a number of commercial space companies. While most of them made considerable progress, the news wasn’t all good.

A Dream Deferred

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) had a pretty rough year, losing out on two major contracts and laying off more than 100 employees.

On a Friday in May, just as everyone was preparing for the long Memorial Day weekend, Virgin Galactic announced it was dumping the hybrid rubber motor SNC developed for SpaceShipTwo in favor of a hybrid nylon one produced by Scaled Composites.

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NASA Develops Ironman-Like Exoskeleton

nasa_exoskeleton2
Project Engineer Shelley Rea demonstrates the X1 Robotic Exoskeleton. (Credit: Robert Markowitz)

Marvel Comic’s fictional superhero, Ironman, uses a powered armor suit that allows him superhuman strength. While NASA’s X1 robotic exoskeleton can’t do what you see in the movies, the latest robotic, space technology, spinoff derived from NASA’s Robonaut 2 project may someday help astronauts stay healthier in space with the added benefit of assisting paraplegics in walking here on Earth.

NASA and The Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) of Pensacola, Fla., with the help of engineers from Oceaneering Space Systems of Houston, have jointly developed a robotic exoskeleton called X1. The 57-pound device is a robot that a human could wear over his or her body either to assist or inhibit movement in leg joints.

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NASA Seeks Innovative Suborbital Flight Technology Proposals

NASA LOGOWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — For a second year, NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals for suborbital technology payloads and spacecraft capability enhancements that could help revolutionize future space missions.

Selected technologies will travel to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms, providing opportunities for testing before they are sent to work in the unforgiving environment of space.

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ATK to Develop Advanced Solar Arrays Under NASA Game Changing Technology Program

ATK Selected to Develop MegaFlex™ Solar Array Structure
System Would Provide 10 Times More Power than the Largest Current Satellite Array Technology
Builds on Spaceflight-proven UltraFlex™ Solar Array Family

Arlington, Va., October 15, 2012 (ATK PR) – ATK’s MegaFlex™ solar array was recently selected by NASA’s Space Technology Program under a Game Changing Technology competition for development of the promising lightweight and compact solar array structure. ATK received a $6.4 million contract for the MegaFlex™ development.

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Company Gets $1.9 Million from NASA to Develop Debris Removal Spacecraft

ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (Credit: STAR, Inc.)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

NASA has awarded a $1.9 million contract to a South Carolina company for the development of the ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) vehicle, which is designed to clean up the growing debris problem in low Earth orbit.

Star Technology and Research (STAR) was awarded the contract under NASA’s Game Changing Technology program. STAR President Jerome Pearson is the project’s principal investigator.

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