Spincraft Completes Last Dome for Delta IV

97: First Delta IV Rocket Fuel Tank Dome Delivered
2021: Final Delta IV Rocket Fuel Tank Dome and the Spincraft Team
2021: Final Delta IV Dome and the Spincraft Team

October marked a momentous occasion for Standex Engineering Technologies Group (Standex ETG) as our Spincraft Massachusetts facility spun its final fuel tank dome in support of United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV rocket program after almost 25 years of close partnership.

 

For more than 20 years, our Spincraft MA facility has supplied continuous production on domes for ULA’s Delta IV rockets. Before becoming a part of ULA’s product line in 2006, the Delta IV rocket was designed for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program by Boeing’s Defense, Space and Security division. Delta IV has served a vital role in providing lift capabilities for high priority U.S. Space Force, National Reconnaissance Office and NASA payloads.

 

Spincraft’s capabilities significantly benefited the Delta IV program by increasing performance while reducing the part count and complexity of the overall vehicle. Previously, the technology initially utilized for making these domes was gore panels. Spincraft’s spinning technology and process expertise allowed Boeing to produce a 5-meter dome out of a single piece of aluminum, eliminating the need for welds, reducing many hours of costly assembly time and reducing the overall weight of the part.

 

97: First Delta IV Rocket Fuel Tank Dome Delivered
1997: First Delta IV Dome Delivered

Spincraft successfully delivered the first Delta IV dome to Boeing in 1997. The first launch occurred in November of 2002. Since then, our team has continued to support ULA’s mission by supplying a total of 415 domes. These domes were an integral part of 41 Delta IV launches to date, including vital military, communications and weather satellites; the Orion Exploration Flight Test; and Parker Space Probe. The last Delta IV flight is scheduled to launch in 2024. 

 

As Delta IV production phases out, Spincraft has already pivoted to supporting early production volumes of Vulcan Centaur, ULA’s next-generation launch vehicle designed for higher performance and greater affordability slated for inaugural flight in 2022.

 

Over the last quarter-century, Spincraft has grown to become one of the most critical solutions suppliers to the space launch vehicle and space exploration markets. Our leading-edge forming processes and capabilities have made us a globally trusted partner for leading public and private companies, providing unsurpassed service and performance. 

Blue Origin: Proud Supplier 

Team Spincraft holding the Blue Origin Proud Supplier Flag

On September 15th, employees of Blue Origin made a site visit to Spincraft’s Massachusetts facility to recognize the team’s successful contributions to New Shepard and the program’s first human flight.

During their visit, Blue Origin shared video footage from their historic July 20 launch — a milestone moment for the future of spaceflight, the Blue Origin team and their first astronaut crew. The first private citizen passenger crew onboard consisted of Jeff Bezos, Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen.

Additional milestones include:

  • Jeff and Mark Bezos: the first siblings to go to space together.
  • Wally Funk: the oldest person to fly in space (age 82).
  • Oliver Daemen: the youngest person to travel to space (age 18) and the first person to purchase a ticket to space commercially.
  • New Shepard: the first commercial vehicle to fly paying customers to and from space.

The Blue Origin team expressed their gratitude for the fuel tank domes that Spincraft provided to make New Shepard’s mission triumphant. Providing these precisely manufactured parts helped ensure confidence among the first human flight travelers as they set foot onboard the rocket to make history. Blue Origin presented Spincraft with a banner to proudly convey our status as a Blue Origin supplier.

Spincraft and Standex Engineering Technologies Group are honored to have collaborated on and delivered yet another successful space systems solution to our customer, and to have been a key manufacturing partner to crewed space flight for more than three decades.

Team Spincraft holding the Blue Origin Proud Supplier Flag

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner Capsule: Spincraft-supplied bulkhead domes

Boeing and NASA continue their drive to send US Astronauts to space. Fox News toured Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral to see firsthand the impressive CST-100 Starliner Capsule. Link to Fox release: Fox Business

Boeing is planning a September 2019 launch of an empty capsule, with a crewed launch targeted by the end of 2019. This will be first mission launching Astronauts to the International Space Station from US soil since the end of the Space Shuttle program in 2011
The crew capsule structure (forward and aft bulkhead domes) are manufactured by Spincraft’s North Billerica MA facility. The capsule will launch on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas IV rocket. Spincraft supplies domes to several ULA Space programs; each Atlas IV uses 4 fuel tank domes also manufactured in the MA plant.

T. KENT PUGMIRE, RECIPIENT OF 2018 WYLD ROCKET PROPULSION AWARD

T. Kent Pugmire , Standex ETG Technical Representative, was recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as ‘Rocket Scientist’ of the Year with his selection to receive the prestigious 2018 Wyld (Rocket) Propulsion Award.

The annual award honors ‘outstanding achievement in the development or application of rocket propulsion systems’ and is named after James Hart Wyld. Pugmire received the award on July 11, 2018 at the AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum in Cincinnati, Ohio. The award citation reads: “For pioneering contributions to the design and development in-space propulsion systems including the creation of electro-thermal ammonia/hydrazine propulsion systems used in hundreds of spacecraft.”

The first spacecraft, Sputnik 1 (Dec 1959) and Explorer 1 (Jan 1960) were placed in elliptical orbits with very limited life. Neither had in-space propulsion to control or change position. This quickly led to the development for in-space propulsion. Initially this was accomplished with containers of pressurized nitrogen or helium which had short life and low propulsive efficiency. Within 10 years liquid fueled propulsion was implemented on small, limited mass spacecraft which had only a few watts electric power for communication and instruments.

During this period, Kent Pugmire was developing very low thrust (~.000,001 pounds thrust) liquid fueled ammonia electro-thermal propulsion systems for NASA and the Naval Research Laboratory. These developments provided the first spacecraft based, operational Global Positioning System (GPS). Some ten years later Kent’s developments produced the first operational electric (several kilowatts power) propulsion spacecraft. Use of this electric propulsion extended operational life of communication, weather, DOD spacecraft about 35% over the standard chemical engines in use at that time. Some applications are continuing today (1980s – 2018).

“Another prestigious honor for a longtime friend and colleague,” said Standex ETG’s Rich Morganti, VP Advanced Engineering & Technology. “It is not surprising given Kent’s passion and dedication to the industry. For those of us who have had the opportunity and pleasure to work with Kent, we are very fortunate indeed.”

Pugmire has worked with Spincraft / Standex ETG for 20+ years as Technical Representative and Consultant to the Space Systems market. Members of the ETG team were on hand for the award, joining several of Pugmire’s family members and business associates.

Pugmire was previously recognized by AIAA, having been inducted to the AIAA Class of 2016 Fellows. AIAA Honorary Fellows and Fellows represent the best of the aerospace community. These individuals have advanced the state of the art of aerospace science and technology, making unique contributions to the profession.
AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving a diverse range of more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members.

Spincraft UK £1M Investment Expands Aviation and Space Capabilities

Newcastle-upon-Tyne GB: May-2017: Spincraft ETG, based in the heart of northeast England, recently received £1M funding from their parent company Standex. As a provider of metal-forming solutions, this funding will allow the manufacturing plant to further expand its capacity and breadth of services, especially within the Aviation and Space markets.

What makes the Newcastle-based Spincraft plant unique is their metal forming capabilities including CNC Spin Forming, Sheer forming and Pressing (using cold and hot forming). The substantial investment will permit the creation of a brand new aeronautics manufacturing cell, allowing the Newcastle plant to offer its customers full turn-key solutions in-house.
Mike Hutchinson, Spincraft’s Operation Director said:

“Matching our investment with our customer’s long term needs is crucial for the future of the Newcastle plant. Our highly committed and experienced teams are anxiously awaiting the new cell”
The initial stage of the investment includes the following processes within the vertically integrated cell:
• Vertical Turning • 5-Axis milling • CMM and Control Room • FPI Inspection • Laser Faro Scanners • Shadow Graph & Part Marking
Cell construction is well underway, and initial segments are expected online as early as summer 2017.
Catherine McKinnel, currently standing as candidate for Labour Member of Parliament for Newcastle North, recently visited Spincraft to learn more about the plant’s capabilities and future plans. McKinnel toured the Newburn facility and had the opportunity to meet with management and factory employees.
Catherine reported:
“It’s really exciting to know that world-leading technology developed and manufactured here in Newcastle is winging its way into space – but even more so to learn that we could be playing a leading role in this growing international industry in the years to come. I am looking forward to supporting Spincraft’s plans for the future.”
McKinnells full review of her Spincraft ETG visit can be found at
www.catherinemckinnellmp.co.uk
About Spincraft, Standex Engineering Technologies Group
SPINCRAFT and ENGINETICS form Standex’s Engineering Technologies Group (ETG). Six facilities across the US and UK provide global manufacturing solutions via collaborative engineering efforts. Precision metal forming technologies are supported by vertically integrated manufacturing processes. ETG solutions support Aviation, Defence and Space-System markets. For more information about Spincraft and Enginetics, visit www.standexetg.com
About Standex Standex International Corporation is a multi-industry manufacturer in five broad business segments: Food Service Equipment, Engineering Technologies, Engraving, Electronics, and Hydraulics with operations in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, India and China. For additional information, visit the Company’s website at www.standex.com/

Dr. T. Kent Pugmire Inducted to the AIAA Class of 2016 Fellows

June 15, 2016: AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala, Washington DC.

Standex ETG Technical Representative, Dr. T. Kent Pugmire, was recently honored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) as a Class of 2016 Fellows.

Pugmire has worked with Spincraft / Standex ETG for 20+ years as Technical Representative and Consultant to the Space Systems market. Members of the ETG team were on hand for the celebration, joining several of Pugmire’s family members and business associates at the AIAA Spotlight Awards Gala held in Washington DC June 15, 2016.

AIAA Fellows are recognized as “persons of distinction in aeronautics or astronautics, who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology thereof.” The AIAA board of directors elects only 1 Fellow per 1,000 members; with 24 Fellows appointed to the 2016 Class.
Pugmire was acknowledged by the Institute for his ‘ pioneering contributions to the design, development, and application of in-space propulsion systems, and a half-century of service to AIAA’.
A member of the Institute for 55 years with over 70 publications, Pugmire, a 30 yr. active member of the Liquid Propulsion Technical Committee, has organized and chaired over 50 Joint Propulsion Conference sessions. He developed arc heated reentry test facilities for primes and NASA followed by invention and development of electro-thermal heated engines and propulsion systems for 40 spacecraft, commencing operational use of electric propulsion for spacecraft. One of Pugmire’s electro-thermal concepts is the ongoing basis of over 250, long life, station keeping engines.
ETG President, Len Paolillo, commented: “The recognition Kent received for his contributions to AIAA and to the Aerospace community was overdue and very well deserved. Kent has long been a key contributor to ETG with his technical expertise and business acumen, and a trusted adviser to me personally for a number of years. The entire ETG team is honored and proud to have Kent as our colleague.”