Skip to comments.Watch Relativity Space test fire its 3D printed Aeon 1 rocket engine, it's amazing!
Posted on 01/07/2018 4:22:58 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
Relativity Space, a Los Angeles orbital launch startup, has just released a short video showing its innovative Aeon 1 3D printed rocket engine in action. The impressive piece of equipment consists of just three 3D printed parts and is capable of reaching full thrust force in milliseconds.
Weve known for awhile that Relativity Space was working on some pretty cool stuff. This past October, for instance, the company announced the development of the Stargate 3D printer, which it says it the largest metal 3D printing system in the world.
The machine, which consists of multiple laser-equipped Kuka robotic arms and metal wire feedstock, was designed specifically for additively manufacturing large-scale rocket structures for Relativity Space.
Still, it is something else entirely to actually see a video of a 3D printed rocket engine being fired. Were sure that the companys many high profile investors (including venture capital firm Social Capital) agree.
The 3D printed Aeon 1 rocket engine is impressive for a number of reasons. First, its innovative 3D printed structure has allowed Relativity Space to manufacture the engine out of only three parts (traditionally manufactured rocket engines typically consist of over one thousand parts). This, in turn, has reduced the engines production time significantly, down to around one month instead of six.
As the company writes on its website, Our process reduces the number of component interfaces, making full robotic automation of engine production possible.
Moreover, Relativity Space says its 3D printed rocket engine will be an important part of reducing the overall costs of rocket launches. In fact, the company is aiming to bring the cost of rocket launches from around $100 million down to only $10 million within the next four years.
As the test fire video demonstrates, the LA startup seems to be well on its way to achieving this.
The video itself was recorded at NASAs Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, where Relativity Space has been testing its 3D printed Aeon 1 rocket engine. On the companys website, it says it has already test fired the engine over 70 times.
Pretty cool. I use to build rockets models all the time, I mean like constantly doing all kinds of experiments then fell out of it. I use to make rockets that would take off and disappear they went so high lol lol. You would just see the smoke trail and that was it. Oh yeah then the ones you could see they parachute would deploy and they fall like 10 miles away, could never get them, they were cool as hell though, I could never get enough of them.
The brazed "spaghetti" nozzles that make it work are really, really expensive.
Using 3D printing to make those nozzles should have a substantial price impact.
I read that ATK is working on a 3D printed engine too. I think they've flown an engine with 3D printed parts, but not a whole engine.
This is what happens when you raise the minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour.
Naturally, SpaceX leads the way on this. the SuperDraco hypergolic-fueled thrusters are 3d printed, and have been flying for a couple of years, and even NASA has a toe in with 3d printed turbopump components.
3 parts? So they don’t count pumps, valves, regulators, and igniters as engine parts?
It’s amazing how much money you csn spend on that stuff.
Some day her prints will come
You could sear a steak pretty good under that engine.
3D printing could help miniaturize rocket engines to fit in your palms and boots. Iron Man! The heck with searing steaks.
Printing is quite different now it would seem.
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