NASA’s revolutionary engine design for deep area flight

NASA’s revolutionary engine design for deep area flight

Hot-fire testing of rotary detonation rocket engines (RDRE).

Rotary Detonation Rocket Engine or RDRE Sizzling Hearth Check at Marshall House Flight Heart. Writer: NASA

How[{” attribute=””>NASA takes its first steps toward establishing a long-term presence on the Moon’s surface, a team of propulsion development engineers at NASA have developed and tested NASA’s first full-scale rotating detonation rocket engine, or RDRE, an advanced rocket engine design that could significantly change how future propulsion systems are built.

The RDRE differs from a traditional rocket engine by generating thrust using a supersonic combustion phenomenon known as a detonation. This design produces more power while using less fuel than today’s propulsion systems and has the potential to power both human landers and interplanetary vehicles to deep space destinations, such as the Moon and Mars.

Engineers st NASA Marshall House Flight Heart in Huntsville, Ala., and principal IN House LLC, based mostly in West Lafayette, Indiana, affirm information from the 2022 RDRE hot-fire check at Marshall’s East Check Website. The engine was began greater than a dozen instances, for a complete of just about 10 minutes.

RDRE achieved its major check purpose by demonstrating that its {hardware} – made out of new additive manufacturing or 3D printing, designs and processes – can function for prolonged durations of time, withstanding the acute temperatures and pressures ensuing from detonations. At full throttle, the RDRE generated greater than 4,000 kilos of thrust for practically a minute at a median chamber strain of 622 psi, the very best ever for this design.

Hot-fire test with a detonating rocket engine

Rotary Detonation Rocket Engine or RDRE Sizzling Hearth Check at Marshall House Flight Heart. Writer: NASA

RDRE contains NASA-developed copper[{” attribute=””>alloy GRCop-42 with the powder bed fusion additive manufacturing process, allowing the engine to operate under extreme conditions for longer durations without overheating.

Additional milestones achieved during the test include the successful performance of both deep throttling and internal ignition. This successful demonstration brings the technology closer to being used with future flight vehicles, enabling NASA and commercial space to move more payload and mass to deep space destinations, an essential component to making space exploration more sustainable. Because of NASA’s recent success with the RDRE, follow-on work is being conducted by NASA engineers to develop a fully reusable 10,000-pound class RDRE to identify performance benefits over traditional liquid rocket engines.

UCF Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine

Thrust propulsion testing and characterization of the University of Central Florida rotating detonation rocket engine is shown in this photo. NASA provided funding for a UCF project focused on rotating detonation rocket engines, which use high-energy explosions to produce more energy with less fuel, improving engine efficiency and cutting down space travel costs and emissions. Credit: UCF

RDRE is managed and funded by the Game Changing Development Program in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

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