NASA & the Hypersonic History of Orbital Welding

NASA & the Hypersonic History of Orbital Welding

May 2, 2022

When we look at technology and architecture, we rarely think about the construction process behind them. Mastering and building such things are a great skills, especially when considering the amount of welding necessary. Learning about NASA and the hypersonic history of orbital welding will reveal its influence and how it’s changing the world.

Rod Rohrberg & the X-15

The origin of orbital welding begins with X-planes. In the 1960s, the North American X-15 rocket plane had issues. Because of the ongoing complications, engineers used orbital gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) to fix the X-15, making it the world’s first plane to operate in space.

Flying nearly 355,000 feet in the air, the X-15 could exceed speeds of 4,000 mph. Due to the amazing capabilities of the X-15, the hydraulic and fuel lines leaked. Luckily, Rod Rohrberg provided a solution: automatic orbital welding.

Rohrberg’s plan worked like a charm, permitting the X-15 to complete almost 200 flights. X-15 pilots flew so high up that 13 of them had the criteria of being astronauts. Today, orbital welding generates high-quality welds for several industries, including manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

Aerospace Innovation

After success with the X-15, significant developments occurred in the aeronautical field. The satellites our world depends on for telecommunications wouldn’t exist if not for orbital welding. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) use multiple welding techniques to produce these satellites and assist in scientific missions.

Future of Orbital Welding

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) created the Large Hadron Collider’s coolant lines (LHC) with the help of orbital welding. In layman’s terms, these lines use liquid helium to cool magnets, traveling at the speed of light.

The ITER Tokamak is a 40-year-old project containing plans to generate fusion energy to produce plasma. Scientists aim to begin in 2025. If everything goes according to plan, it will open the door for a new age of renewable energy.

Learning about NASA and the hypersonic history of orbital welding will help you appreciate the aerospace field and the workers that made everything possible. Orbital welding is responsible for changing the world, and the future of energy is looking at orbital welding for answers. SEC Industrial proudly offers the top automatic pipe spool welding machine for welders everywhere. Please check out our inventory and reach out with any questions. Our experienced team is eager to assist you!