After successful testing at NASA’s Stennis Space Center of Launcher’s Liquid Oxygen Turbopump (LOX) for its high-performance closed-cycle liquid rocket engine, Launcher is now working with Velo3D to 3D print its fuel pump, parts of the flight turbine housing and Orbiter pressure vessels — the latter will be fabricated with the second Velo3D Sapphire metal AM system.
“Velo3D really delivered our turbopump, including its 3D printed rotary turbine, which all performed flawlessly the first time around at 30,000 rpm, using the first prototype,” said Max Haot, Founder and CEO of Launcher.
“Rocket engine turbopump parts typically require casting, forging and welding. The tooling required for these processes increases development cost and reduces flexibility between design iterations. The ability to 3D print our turbopump, including Inconel’s rotating casing wheels, thanks to Velo3D’s zero-degree technology, now allows for lower cost and increased innovation through iteration between each prototype.
Founded in 2017, Launcher is an emerging technology company dedicated to the development of efficient rockets capable of putting small satellites into orbit. Their “Launcher Light” rocket will carry payloads of up to 150 kg (330 labs) into low Earth orbit, using a single E-2 engine. A first launch is scheduled for 2024.
One of the company’s strategies is to use additive manufacturing in as many rocket components as possible. While Launcher’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Los Angeles will feature a wide variety of in-house capabilities, the company also plans to leverage Velo3D’s contract manufacturing partners such as Stratasys Direct Manufacturing when ramping up production. , especially for FA.
“We are very excited to work with innovative companies like Launcher,” said Benny Buller, Founder and CEO of Velo3D. “Not only have they already proven the value and experienced the quality of advanced metal AM through ongoing projects, but they understand the potential this technology holds to extend their business success out of this world. “
In March, Velo3D announced its intention to merge with JAWS Spitfire Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: SPFR) and become a public company.