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Fly Me to the Moon – Testing Additive Materials Performance in Space

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Conference Abstract: Lunar missions are rigorous, and require parts made with the highest performing materials. The growth of additive manufacturing (AM) for aerospace applications will require advances in additive materials to push the boundaries.

Join this session to learn how Northrop Grumman will test the performance of Stratasys AM materials on a 2024 lunar mission as a part of a NASA Tipping Point program. You will hear about two planned experiments, the first an assessment of high-performance PEKK-based thermoplastic, Antero® 800NA FDM® filament filled with tungsten and ceramic-filled Somos Perform, and their ability to shield against harmful radiation. The second experiment seeks to understand how various Stratasys materials, with ESD properties, perform on the lunar surface and respond to moon dust, UV rays, and rapid temperature swings that result from virtually no atmosphere on the moon.

The aerospace industry has always pushed the boundaries of what is possible with additive manufacturing. These experiments will help the industry understand how to fully leverage additive manufacturing to keep people and equipment safe as we travel to the moon and beyond, and can be beneficial to other industries that also have rigorous requirements related to radiation and high temperature environments.