The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) three-dimensionally (3D)-printed a lightweight aluminum rocket engine nozzle that could help enable deep space exploration with more cargo.
The single-piece nozzle features internal channels that keep it sufficiently cool to prevent melting.
NASA partnered with additive manufacturing materials company Elementum 3D to develop the A6061-RAM2 aluminum alloy, while manufacturer RPM Innovations fabricated the nozzles from the alloy using laser powder-directed energy deposition technology.
NASA designed the nozzle under its Reactive Additive Manufacturing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution project to advance 3D-printed rocket nozzles that can endure high temperatures and pressures.
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