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ULA Launches Rocket Hardware Design Challenge with GrabCAD

By Veronica Magan | September 27, 2016
      ULA OA-6 Atlas 5

      ULA’s Atlas 5 prior to launch. Photo: ULA

      [Via Satellite 09-27-2016] United Launch Alliance (ULA) has kicked off the 3-2-1 Liftoff! ULA Rocket Hardware Challenge via GrabCAD Community Challenges, inviting participants to design a launch support attachment bracket — to be produced using additive manufacturing technology — for ULA’s current Atlas 5 rocket. The design will subsequently be evaluated for application on ULA’s next-generation Vulcan Centaur rocket. GrabCAD, a division of Stratasys, is a digital manufacturing hub helping designers and engineers build products faster.

      Participants will design a support bracket used during ground processing at the base of the Atlas 5 payload fairing. It is used at numerous locations around the vehicle’s Centaur upper stage, acting as a support point for work platforms on the days leading up to launch. The bracket remains with the upper stage of the rocket during flight.

      The deadline to submit designs to the challenge is Oct. 23 at 7:59 p.m. EDT. ULA will recognize the top three designs. Judges include Bruno as well as additional engineers and experts from ULA and Stratasys.

      “We are transforming the future of space launch, and additive manufacturing is one of the innovative techniques we’re using to make space more affordable, accessible and commercialized,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. “The ULA Rocket Hardware Challenge invites people familiar with the industry and new to aerospace to participate in that transformation — the opportunity to design rocket hardware that will deliver critical technologies to orbit.”