Victor Luckerson | Time.com
It's more efficient than traditionally produced rocket parts
NASA is getting closer to 3-D printing a rocket engine.
The space agency announced Wednesday that it had built a turbopump using a 3-D printer. The device, which is designed to boost the power of an engine, is one of the most complex rocket parts ever designed with a 3-D printer.
According to NASA, the 3-D printed turbopump has 45 percent fewer parts than a turbopump made via traditional methods. The device is able to power a rocket engine capable of generating 35,000 pounds of thrust and is able to survive in an environment where fuel is burned at greater than 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
NASA is also 3-D printing injectors and other engine parts in order to make the production of future spacecraft more efficient.
Here’s a video of the 3-D printed fuel pump in action:
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