Rocket Engine Technologies for Next Gen Launch Systems Demonstrated

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May 18, 2016 | Originally published by Date Line: May 18 on

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne (subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings) achieved a major milestone under the Hydrocarbon Boost program, which is advancing domestic rocket engine technologies in support of next generation launch. The Hydrocarbon Boost program completed full power, full duration tests of the oxygen-rich staged combustion sub-scale preburner. Testing was conducted at the historic rocket Test Stand 2A at Edwards Air Force Base; the facility was first utilized to test the F-1 engine used to power Saturn V rockets in the Apollo program to reach the moon.The sub-scale preburner test campaign accomplished the first demonstrations of several key rocket engine technologies, including the first use of Mondaloy 200 superalloy in a rocket engine environment and the first operation of a diluent type preburner. Demonstration of Mondaloy 200, which was co-developed by Aerojet Rocketdyne and the AFRL Materials Directorate, was a critical step to proving the unique combination of high-strength and burn resistance necessary for hardware survival in the harsh ORSC rocket environment.”These tests are a significant milestone for our program, but also just the beginning of an effort to develop and transition the tools, components and knowledge needed for our customer and the U.S. rocket industry,” said Dr. Shawn Phillips, chief of the AFRL Rocket Propulsion Division.