Category Archives: Space

Another Successful Reflight, And Relanding

Eric Berger has the story. As he says, reusability isn’t a fad, we’ve finally gotten to the point at which it’s clearly the future.

There is a little tension because Elon announced shortly before the launch that this would be the most challenging entry yet (probably to downplay expectations). It landed, but not quite on the bullseye. But close enough. This was the first rocket to land on both the east- and west-coast ASDSs. We’re planning to go up to Vandenberg Sunday for the Iridium launch. It should be better weather than the last time, in January. If successful, it will be two launches for the company almost within forty-eight hours. They’re finally getting to the launch tempo they need to work down their backlog.

A 3-D Laser Printer

GE is building the world’s largest one:

The prototype Atlas printer, announced on Wednesday, can print objects up to one meter long using titanium, aluminum, and other metals instead of the plastics, resins, and filaments that many commercial and consumer 3D printers use. That means it could print an entire engine block for a car or truck, for example, replacing the specialized machines and tooling that are currently required to make those types of products in a factory.

GE said it plans to unveil the Atlas in November. The prototype can only print objects up to one meter in two directions, such as length and width, but once the production version is ready next year, it will be able to print objects up to one meter in any direction.

Seems like just the thing for cheap rocket engines.