The United States Air Force has reached out to Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. to standardize and qualify the components used in liquid fueled rockets.
Julie Van Kleek, Vice President of Advanced Space & Launch Systems has said, “It is imperative that engine manufacturers understand the qualification methodology for this revolutionary technology because of the criticality of the assets they help launch into space.”
This request by the US Air Force comes on the heels of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. winning the contracts from Boeing and NASA to begin preparations for the next phase of space travel for humans. That contract is worth an estimated $1.4 billion dollars. This proposition for 3-D Printed Rocket Engine standards is expected to be a part of a movement designed to end Pentagon’s reliance on Russian-made rockets currently being used by United Launch Alliance such as the RD-180 Atlas V Rockets.
The Air Force has prominent plans on increasing the number of contracts for US-built propulsion systems, Aerojet is in charge of drafting and implementing the industry-wide standard in regards to the manufacturing and examination process when these 3-D printed parts are required to go through it’s stringent testing phase. The standards are of the utmost importance as the testing phase is extremely demanding and requires strict adherence to protocols for it to pass due to the magnitude of space travel. Aerojet is already considered to be one of the leading manufacturers when it comes to the field of 3-D printing or additive manufacturing as they boast a considerable amount of experience as well as already implemented practices designed to reduce manufacturing time and significantly lowering production costs for components keeping the spending from becoming cost-prohibitive. Ultimately their experience coupled with the vast resources at their disposal will allow Aerojet to successfully outline an industry standard when it comes to qualifying flight components for space travel.
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