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Carbon additive manufacturing technology produces high performance thrusters for NASA free flyer inspector

April 23, 2019 / Sam Davies

Carbon’s additive manufacturing technology has enabled the production of four high-performance thrusters for a NASA free flyer technology demonstration project. Seeker is a robotic free flyer inspector that was launched aboard the Cygnus spacecraft for Northrop Grumman’s 11th contracted Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station earlier this month. With just over a year to launch Seeker from the start of the project, NASA accessed Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis 3D printing technology via The Technology House, a production partner of the Californian OEM’s.
The additively manufactured thrusters were newly designed for Seeker’s cold-gas propulsion system, ensuring a number of critical components, from four cold gas jets and gas tubings to bracketing and sensors, could be integrated in close proximity on the same face of the vehicle. Also on this face is an Inertial Measurement Unit, laser rangefinder, four sun sensors, tw...