Nobody likes to find that a simple unplugged connector is the cause of a failure that shuts down a system for a long time. That's especially true when a hard-to-reach plug is on an orbiting spacecraft. NASA's hoping to avoid that type of problem with a rewrite of its Specification S-311-P-822, which addresses connectors. When Compact PCI connectors are selected for NASA space flights, Hypertronics Corp.'s cPCI connectors with the Hypertac “Basket of Wires” are now a connector of choice. Connectors from the subsidiary of the Smiths Group have already been used on the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Mars Science Lab., the Hubble Space Telescope and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
An in-depth survey of 700 current and future users of 3D printing holds few surprises, but results emphasize some major trends already in progress. Two standouts are the big growth in end-use parts and metal additive manufacturing (AM) most respondents expect.
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