Ursa Major delivers its first additively manufactured rocket engine components

July 18, 2022

The copper-based rocket engine combustion chambers were additively manufactured at Ursa Major’s Youngstown facility (Courtesy Ursa Major)
The copper-based rocket engine combustion chambers were additively manufactured at Ursa Major’s Youngstown facility (Courtesy Ursa Major)

Ursa Major Technologies Inc, headquartered in Berthoud, Colorado, USA, has delivered its first copper-based additively manufactured rocket engine combustion chambers from its Additive Manufacturing lab in Youngstown, Ohio. The advanced engine components will now be tested for space launch and hypersonic applications.

Reported to be America’s only privately funded company that focuses solely on rocket propulsion, Ursa Major compressed the production and delivery cycle to one month using metal AM, compared to a minimum of six months using traditional manufacturing processes. Ursa Major’s rocket engines are more than 80% additively manufactured (by mass) and primarily built and tested in its Berthoud headquarters.

“Speed is of the essence when it comes to producing rocket engines right now because lack of propulsion is causing a significant bottleneck in U.S. access to space and hypersonics testing,” stated Joe Laurienti, founder and CEO of Ursa Major. “The Ursa Major facility in Youngstown is playing a pivotal role in accelerating our customers’ time to market in both commercial and government sectors.”

Ursa Major uses the EOS M400 to additively manufacture rocket engine components  (Courtesy Ursa Major)
Ursa Major uses the EOS M400 to additively manufacture rocket engine components (Courtesy Ursa Major)

The Youngstown facility is equipped with an EOS M400 large-format Laser Beam Powder Bed Fusion (PBF-LB) AM machine designed to make on-demand components for Ursa Major rocket engines. The Advanced Manufacturing Lab accelerates the engine development process, allowing Ursa Major to rapidly iterate on design adjustments in-house to improve engine performance and reliability.

The Advanced Manufacturing Lab was critical to rapidly redesigning Ursa Major’s ‘Ripley’ engine from a 35,000 to 50,000-pound thrust engine in order to meet market demand. The technical lessons learned from Ripley and the methods and materials produced in this facility are now contributing to the development and testing of their two other rocket engine programs – the ‘Hadley’, a 5,000-pound thrust, oxygen-rich staged combustion engine used in small launch and hypersonics, and the recently announced 200,000-pound thrust ‘Arroway’, designed for medium and heavy launch.

Ursa Major’s flexible rocket engines can be used for a range of missions, from air launch to hypersonic flight to on-orbit missions with many restarts. The company has built and tested more than fifty staged-combustion rocket engines to date and plans to deliver thirty customers by the end of 2022. To date, Ursa Major engines have accumulated more than 36,000 seconds of run-time, said to be far more than a typical engine is tested prior to the first flight.

www.ursamajor.com

The copper-based rocket engine combustion chambers were additively manufactured at Ursa Major’s Youngstown facility (Courtesy Ursa Major)

In the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Download PDF
 

Extensive AM industry news coverage, as well as the following exclusive deep-dive articles:

  • Revolution, not evolution: General Motors on building an AM culture and the AM Dream Machine
  • The power of Additive Manufacturing in the hands of artists: Public works to small batch production
  • Growing momentum and broadening recognition: A status update on the rise of Electron Beam PBF
  • Improving carbon capture efficiency through Additive Manufacturing in the race for a liveable climate
  • The System of AM Systems: How Metal Powder Works’ in-process powder production could change metal AM
  • The next generation: Using metal AM to drive emissions reduction and educate the engineers of the future
  • Advances in the AM of refractory metals and hard materials at the 20th Plansee Seminar
  • Additive Manufacturing needs you: Why you and your company should get involved in standards development

The world of metal AM to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of Metal AM magazine, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter.

Sign up

News from the industry…

    News from the industry…

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:

    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news

    All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.

    Browse the archive

    Looking for AM machines, metal powders or part manufacturing services?

    Discover suppliers of these and more in our comprehensive advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of Metal AM magazine.

    • AM machines
    • Process monitoring & calibration
    • Heat treatment & sintering
    • HIP systems & services
    • Pre- & post-processing technology
    • Powders, powder production and analysis
    • Part manufacturers
    • Consulting, training & market data
    Download PDF
    Share via
    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap