Ursa Major, privately funded company
focused on rocket propulsion, has announced it has received additional funding
from America Makes. The company began its relationship with America Makes in
2021 with the establishment of the Ursa Major Advanced Manufacturing Lab in
The lab created a 3D printing capability
for NASA-developed copper-chrome-niobium alloy GrCop42, with Ursa Major’s first
large-scale 3D printer, and produced prototype thrust chambers for the vacuum
variant of the Hadley liquid rocket engine.
Under a new agreement, Ursa Major and
America Makes will continue their partnership through mid-2024 and transition
from printing prototypes to printing production and engine qualification
“Our Advanced Manufacturing Lab is critical
to Ursa Major’s additive manufacturing capabilities, which accelerate engine
production timelines,” said Brad Appel, Chief Technology Officer at Ursa Major.
“With our resources in Youngstown, we can reduce the production and delivery
cycle for combustion chambers from six months to one month.”
John Wilczynski, Executive Director of
America Makes added: “Ursa Major has been a great addition to our Youngstown
ecosystem. We are excited to continue our collaboration on improving
producibility and lead time reduction of defence industrial base relevant
GRCop-42, part of a family of
NASA-developed alloys, is used in high-heat applications such as liquid rocket
engine combustion devices because its high conductivity and strength. Ursa
Major says that 3D printing allows it to speed up engine production and apply
improvements gleaned from testing in real time.
Ursa Major says that its rocket engines are
more than 80% 3D printed by mass.
TCT spoke to Ursa Major in 2022 about its
first copper 3D printed rocket engine parts.