NASA Langley Research Center has ordered a full-scale Mars airplane prototype from Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. (www.aurora.aero) as part of the Mars Scout Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey project. Designed to demonstrate flight-weight components and actual aerodynamics, the prototype plane is scheduled to make its first flight later this year with a deployment test in the upper reaches of the Earth's atmosphere. In 2002 Aurora and NASA Langley successfully demonstrated a half-scale version of the airplane in a series of low- and high-altitude drop tests where it unfolded from a protective shell.
Two new technologies from Stratasys, created in partnership with Boeing, Ford, and Siemens, will bring accurate, repeatable manufacturing of very large thermoplastic end products, and much bigger composite parts, onto the factory floor for industries including automotive and aerospace.
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