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Spincraft Solutions Supporting Starliner

Spincraft Solutions Supporting Starliner

Spincraft Solutions Supporting Starliner

Spincraft Solutions Supporting Starliner

On June 5, 2024, United Launch Alliance (ULA)’s Atlas V rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. This launch made history as the first crew flight test carrying NASA astronauts aboard Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft. After nearly 27 hours of spaceflight, astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams arrived and docked successfully at the International Space Station (ISS). The crew flight test is a pivotal step that will pave the way for dozens of future astronauts to fly aboard Starliner on missions to orbit. This mission is special to the Spincraft team as we have manufactured a number of the components on both the Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft.

Spincraft, out of its Massachusetts facility has been manufacturing fuel tank domes since the inception of the Atlas V program. Since 2009 the team has spun formed, heat treated, machined, and delivered nearly 400 Atlas V domes. The team recently completed and shipped the last Atlas V fuel tank dome for final assembly this year (2024).

Spincraft MA Laser Scanning an Atlas V Spun Dome
Spincraft MA employees with the last dome we've produced for the Atlas V program

Additionally, Spincraft provided a solution for the Starliner’s crew capsule. In 2009, our Massachusetts site was involved in the developmental phase of the structure and early testing of Starliner components. During this time, Spincraft was contracted to evaluate material properties to ensure the conditions of the formed structure were up to the strict standards needed for the spacecraft. 

As a result of this development effort, the team was contracted to provide the spun formed, heat treated and high speed milled critical parts for Starliner’s crew capsule out of large single-piece aluminum plates. The Massachusetts facility manufactured the upper and lower domes of the crew module pressurized structure, where the crew lives and works while traveling from Earth to the ISS. Starliner’s work upon docking is not done, as the capsule is also designed to serve as a lifeboat for up to 6 months for the crew in the event of an emergency.

Crew Capsule

This collaborative effort with our Boeing and NASA customers to develop the final product requirements enabled Spincraft to get additional spin forming experience for new large and unique contours. We learned additional lessons about the machining/milling and heat treatment processes that ultimately contributed to the successful fabrication of the flight hardware which has been paying dividends as Spincraft forms the future of spaceflight and exploration.

With over a quarter-century of experience in the space sector, Spincraft can be trusted to support next-generation launch and space flight vehicle development as one of the most critical metal forming solutions suppliers. With leading-edge forming processes, Spincraft can facilitate and shape space exploration and commercialization through close collaborations with current and new partners. We invite you to connect and discuss how Spincraft can collaborate with you to solve your critical metal forming challenges with cost-effective solutions that will eliminate welds and reduce input weight.

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