NASA has developed a high-tech 3D-printed rocket engine turbopump that is believed to be "one of the most complex, 3D-printed rocket engine parts ever made". Manufactured and tested at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, this pump was designed by both Marshall engineers and external vendors.
This turbopump is capable of operating at well over 90,000 revolutions per minute and generating over 1,500 Kilowatt-hours while pumping 4,500 liters of cryogenic liquid hydrogen per minute. Interestingly, this pump uses 45 per cent fewer parts than conventional pumps, due to the many advantages of 3D printing.
NASA is looking to encourage further development of turbopump designs by making the engine designs and testing data open to American companies interested in working on future space engines.
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