3D Printing Titanium Spacecraft Fuel Tanks

By: | May 5th, 2015

Lockheed Martin and partners are at work on developing the Orion Spacecraft, expected to take astronauts into deep space, possibly to Mars. While much of the technology that is needed to prepare and carry out this mission already exists, there is still plenty of technology yet to be discovered and new manufacturing processes to be used.

Astronauts who travel into deep space will encounter conditions never before experienced by humans and the technology we create. The critical question: has human technology evolved far enough to make a Mars mission possible and successful?

Lockheed Martin 3D Printing Titanium Fuel Tanks In-House

For Lockheed Martin, some manufacturing is done in-house, and some is outsourced. Now Lockheed Martin may be gearing up to manufacture titanium propulsion tanks, currently supplied by outside contractor Orbital ATK, which built fuel tanks for 3 Mars orbiters.

Lockheed Martin is currently testing additive manufacturing techniques (AM) as it looks to build large versions of the tanks, change designs, and have more control over the process while reducing costs.

The following video shows the additive manufacturing process using Sciaky Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing Solution or EBAM technology.

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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