Rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer Aerojet Rocketdyne has partnered with Nasa to develop a lightweight rocket engine thrust chamber assembly.

Under the Space Act Agreement signed with Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Aerojet Rocketdyne will use advanced additive manufacturing techniques to design and produce the technology.

The company said it will use a mix of 3D printing technologies such as solid-state and laser deposition, ensuring complex parts are quickly built for the thrust chamber.

The resulting scalable design could be employed in propulsion systems to support a lunar lander and large boosters for launch vehicles.

The project is undertaken with the view to minimise costs and develop a thrust chamber that can support moon and Mars exploration missions.

Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and president Eileen Drake said: “As we look to the future of space exploration, efficiency and scalability will be key, which is why we are excited to work with Nasa on this innovative thrust chamber for rocket engines.

“The technology we develop will leverage the most advanced additive manufacturing techniques and materials to help provide efficient and safe transportation to and through space.”

Nasa space technology mission directorate is supporting the project under its Announcement of Collaborative Opportunity (ACO) initiative.

The ACO initiative intends to minimise the technology development cost and deploy emerging commercial capabilities for space missions.

In June, the company opened its new rocket propulsion Advanced Manufacturing Facility (AMF) at 7800 Pulaski Pike in Huntsville, Alabama.

The 136,000ft2 AMF will be involved in the manufacture of advanced propulsion products such as solid rocket motor cases and other hardware.