Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
On April 30th 2020, Tuskegee University (TU) of Alabama announced that a research team from its College Of Engineering would be collaborating with Dynetics of Huntsville (also of Alabama) on NASA’s Artemis program. (Dynetics is a self-proclaimed “provides responsive, cost-effective engineering, scientific, IT solutions to the national security, cybersecurity, space, and critical infra structure sectors” company. They are a wholly-owned subsidiary of self-proclaimed “makes the world safer, healthier, and more efficient through information technology, engineering, and science” company Leidos of Reston, Virginia.)
The Artemis program is intent on landing the first woman and the next man on the lunar surface by 2024. Dynetics was one of 3 companies charged by NASA with making a so-called “Human Landing System” (HLS) for the program, for whom TU would be testing 3D printed metal parts. The other 2 are aerospace engineering companies Blue Origin of Kent, Washington and SpaceX of Hawthorne, California. NASA proclaimed that the total value of the contracts they had awarded amounted to $967 million over their first 10 months.
Dynetics’s HLS’s crew module is designed to accommodate 2 crew members for what TU referred to as “nominal missions” between lunar orbit and the lunar surface, including living on the lunar surface for circa a week. (TU failed to properly define its use of the word nominal.) Alternatively, it can transport up to 4 crew members to and/or from the lunar surface. Dynetics, SpaceX and Blue Origin will work on their designs until February 2021, when NASA will decide who will perform the Artemis program’s first demonstration mission. NASA intends to use the Artemis program to eventually establish sustainable exploration of the lunar surface, and hopes to learn from it to aid in sending the first humans to Mars.
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Disclaimer: Featured image of “New High-Resolution Earthrise Image” in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted.”