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Aerojet’s confidence in Next Generation Engine and green propellants
February 6th, 2012 by Chris Bergin

Californian aerospace company Aerojet believe they are in a good position to continue their advancements in the development of rocket engines, ranging fr om the Next Generation Engine (NGE) for the US Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program, through to environmentally “green” propellants for propulsion hardware.

Aerojet Engine Development:

While Aerojet are already involved in a wide range of propulsive requirements for launch vehicles and spacecraft, work is already well under way for their effort to become the provider of the Next Generation Engine (NGE), a process started via the Air Force’s Request For Information (RFI) over a year ago.

The RFI noted it was seeking an Upper Stage engine utilizing modern design and manufacturing methods, while it would be expected that the new engine will demonstrate state-of-the-art operating margin and reliability and minimize life-cycle costs, with an aim of replacing the RL-10 – which is used in various forms with Atlas’ Centaur Upper Stage (RL-10A-3) and Delta IV’s Upper Stage (RL-10B-2).

Aerojet recently noted they had successfully completed a major milestone in the development of a ground demonstrator for the Next Generation Engine (NGE) program, announcing the completion of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the turbopump assembly.

The engine under development – which is yet to receive a name – would not be restricted to just US Air Force/EELV use, according to Julie Van Kleeck, Aerojet Vice President, Space & Launch System speaking in an interview with NASASpaceflight.com.

“For now we are assuming the RL-10 engine requirements with additional consideration of the requirements put forth in the AF September 2010 RFI. (Next Generation Engine (NGE) Request for Information; Solicitation Number: SMC10-55; Agency: Department of the Air Force; Office: Air Force Space Command; Location: SMC – Space and Missile Systems Center).

“We do believe this engine can serve future civil as well as Air Force needs.”

Aerojet – who previously noted it has been decades since there has been an open engine competition in the United States – added they are unable to compare their new engine to an RL-10 derivative at this stage. However, they are confident they can present their NGE as a major step forward.

“We don’t know many specifics about RL-10 derivatives since little has been made public. Aerojet believes that our offering for NGE will make major improvements over the current RL-10 in cost and reliability and have equal or greater performance depending on configuration,” added Ms Van Kleeck.

The Californian-based company are involved in a number of future engine projects, not least the advanced booster for the Space Launch System (SLS), but also in the field of environmentally “green” engines.

With experience in working with Hydroxylammonium nitrate or hydroxylamine nitrate (HAN) powered engines for uncrewed spacecraft, Aerojet noted they are also working on a nitrous-ethanol bipropellant system for Human Space Flight applications.

“While Aerojet has been developing HAN-based monopropellants for a wide range of applications since 1990, Human Spaceflight is not a current focus for this effort. For HSF, our current green propulsion focus is a nitrous-ethanol bipropellant system,” noted Ms Van Kleeck.

It has been publicly known that HAN is being developed as a potential propellant for launch vehicles, both in the solid form as a solid propellant oxidizer, and in the aqueous solution in monopropellant rockets.

According to technical papers – such as those associated with the US Department of Energy – it is typically bonded with glycidyl azide polymer (GAP), Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB), or carboxy-terminated polybutadiene (CTPB). The catalyst is a noble metal, similar to the other monopropellants that use silver or palladium.

“For the HAN-monopropellant systems we are currently focused on robotic spacecraft and defense applications,” Ms Van Kleeck continued. “Aerojet has successfully tested HAN thrusters from 0.2 lbf up to 150 lbf and has found no lim itations to developing even higher thrust engines. When developing new, green propellants, one needs to consider both environmental and safety issues.

“For HSF, if green monopropellants become attractive, Aerojet believes that HAN is the leading green monopropellant candidate if you consider all of the safety and handling issues.”

As aforementioned, Ms Van Kleeck noted that Aerojet place a large amount of consideration on both the environmental and safety elements of their advanced propellants, not least their impact on humans, but also for the atmosphere of Mars.

“Aerojet has developed both monopropellant and bipropellant liquid rocket engines that utilize environmentally friendly propellants. Our monopropellant efforts include HAN based engines and Nitrous Oxide based engines. In the bipropellant arena, we have developed Nitrous-Ethanol, LOX/Methane, LOX/Hydrogen and LOX/Ethanol engines,” added Ms Van Kleeck.

“For interplanetary missions to Mars, NASA has chosen Aerojet’s monopropellant hydrazine thrusters for both cruise and landing for all Mars landers to date for the simple reason that hydrazine (N2H4) does not contain carbon.

“For all advanced propellants, both environmental and safety considerations are very important, and our selections are based on a balance of both of these critical factors. Insofar as toxicity to humans, we have done extensive work on our selected propellants and have found that they meet our requirements.

“Just as important, extensive testing has shown that our propellants are the safest to handle and use in typical test and operational settings.”
Изменено: Salo - 13.07.2013 22:27:48
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
В память почившей в бозе темы:
 . . .
:shock: А вроде как совсем недавно ещё жива была? :( Или я путаю?
Недавно был очередной мор на форуме. :(
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
instml пишет:

NASA's Goddard, Glenn Centers Look to Lift Space Astronomy out of the Fog
A fogbank is the least useful location for a telescope, yet today's space observatories effectively operate inside one. That's because Venus, Earth and Mars orbit within a vast dust cloud produced by comets and occasional collisions among asteroids. After the sun, this so-called zodiacal cloud is the solar system's most luminous feature, and its light has interfered with infrared, optical and ultraviolet observations made by every astronomical space mission to date.

"To put it simply, it has never been night for space astronomers," said Matthew Greenhouse, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Light fr om zodiacal dust can be a thousand times brighter than the sources astronomers actually target, limiting sensitivity in much the same way that bright moonlight hampers ground-based observatories. The dust and its unwanted illumination are greatest in the plane of Earth's orbit, the same plane in which every space telescope operates.

Placing future astronomy missions on more tilted orbits would let spacecraft spend significant amounts of time above and below the thickest dust and thereby reduce its impact on observations. So Greenhouse teamed with Scott Benson at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to investigate how these "dark sky" or extra-zodiacal orbits might improve mission science and to develop a means of cost-effectively reaching them.

"Just by placing a space telescope on these inclined orbits, we can improve its sensitivity by a factor of two in the near-ultraviolet and by 13 times in the infrared," Greenhouse explained. "That's a breakthrough in science capability with absolutely no increase in the size of the telescope's mirror."

The Extra-Zodiacal Explorer (EZE) mission concept includes launch on a Falcon 9 rocket and a new solar-electric-propulsion upper stage that will enable realization of joint goals for NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist and Science Mission Directorate, with wide applicability across astrophysics and planetary science disciplines. The transfer stage would use NEXT ion engines powered by disk-shaped UltraFlex solar panels. (Image credit: NASA Goddard)

Greenhouse, Benson and the COllaborative Modeling and Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) study team at NASA Glenn designed a mission that utilizes new developments in solar arrays, electric propulsion and lower-cost expendable launch vehicles. Their proof-of-concept mission is the Extra-Zodiacal Explorer (EZE), a 1,500-pound EX-class observatory that could accommodate a telescope in the size range of the recently completed WISE mission — all within the cost and schedule constraints of NASA’s Explorer Program.

Launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, EZE would use a powerful new solar-electric drive as an upper stage to direct the spacecraft on a gravity-assist maneuver past Earth or Mars. This flyby would redirect the mission into an orbit inclined by as much as 30 degrees to Earth's.

The result, the scientists say, will be the highest-performance observatory ever achieved in the decades-long history of NASA's Explorer program.

"We see EZE as a game-changer, the first step on a new path for NASA Explorers that will yield major science goals despite lim ited resources," said Benson, who previously managed the new electric propulsion technology project.

Named NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), the engine is an improved type of ion drive. Using electric power supplied by solar panels, the NEXT engines operate by removing electrons from atoms of xenon gas, then accelerating the charged ions through an electric field to create thrust. While these types of engine provide much less thrust at any given time than traditional chemical rockets, they are much more fuel efficient and can operate for years.

A NEXT engine fires at full power in a test chamber at NASA's Glenn Research Center. At the time the image was taken, in December 2009, the thruster had operated continuously for more than 25,000 hours; it has now run for more than 40,000 hours. (Image credit: NASA Glenn)

Built by Aerojet, an aerospace company based in Sacramento, Calif., each 6.9-kilowatt NEXT engine delivers two and a half times the thrust of the NSTAR ion engines now flying on NASA's Dawn spacecraft.

"We've run one NEXT thruster for over 40,000 hours in ground testing, more than twice the thruster operating lifetime needed to deliver the EZE spacecraft to its extra-zodiacal orbit,” Benson explained. "This is mature technology that will enable much more cost-effective space missions across both the astrophysics and planetary science disciplines."

This sped-up video shows a test of a NEXT gimbal at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in October 2006. The gimbal's job is to raise the thruster out of its launch position and then point it to the direction commanded by a spacecraft. The gimbal moves the NEXT engine through the full range of thrust positions it can achieve. (Video credit: NASA JPL)

"Development of this solar-electric upper stage for Falcon 9, which the Goddard/Glenn EZE team is advocating, will make extra-zodiacal orbits available to any astronomer proposing to NASA's Explorer program. This will enable unprecedented science capability for astrophysics Explorers," Greenhouse said.

The EZE upper stage would carry two NEXT engines, their xenon gas propellant and two 18-foot-wide UltraFlex solar arrays built by Alliant Techsystems in Goleta, Calif. These arrays, which were originally developed for NASA's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, would see their first deep-space application with EZE. Once the spacecraft achieves the desired orbit, the transfer stage would separate and the science mission would begin.

Technicians at NASA's Glenn Research Center check out a prototype NEXT engine on Jan. 20, 2006, following its delivery by the thruster contractor, Aerojet Corp. (Image credit: NASA Glenn)

The Goddard/Glenn study also showed that the EZE mission concept could be the lowest-cost option for a planned flight demonstration of a high-power solar-electric propulsion stage. A standardized solar-electric upper stage for the Falcon 9 that can be used by any mission will set the small-payload Explorer program on a new path to achieve science goals that rival the capability of larger, more expensive systems.

"Undertaking a project like this will provide key flight experience toward developing the higher-power systems needed to enable NASA’s human exploration objectives in deep space while providing immediate scientific return on the investment," Greenhouse added.
Изменено: Salo - 13.07.2013 22:39:07
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Недавно был очередной мор на форуме. :(
Шо? Опять??[/size:ccb4ec6394] :shock:
Хм, это уже на регулярные зачистки смахивает... :(
Orbital Antares Team Conducts Another AJ26 Engine Test

June 2012

The Orbital, Aerojet and NASA team conducted a successful test at the NASA Stennis Space Center in a firing of an AJ26 engine that had undergone hot fire testing previously. Among several objectives, the test allowed the team to collect additional engine data in advance of the planned Antares stage one hot fire test planned for later this summer at the Wallops Island, VA launch site in which the entire stage one core, with two AJ 26 engines, will be test fired. (NASA photo)[/size:ccb64b6b4d]

US Senator Mikulski Tours Wallops Island Facilities

June 2012

Orbital personnel supported a visit by Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland on Monday, June 25, who was at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility during a oversight tour of the facility Sen. Mikulski toured the launch pad, which is fully built and is being certified as safe and fully functional by a team of NASA, Orbital and Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) representatives and was briefed on the progress being made toward completing the certification of the launch complex from which Orbital's cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station will originate. MARS is responsible for the construction and operation of the launch pad complex.

Orbital also briefed the Senator on the company's preparedness for carrying out a test launch of the Antares rocket and the demonstration cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station in the third and fourth quarters of 2012, respectively. These flight milestones will be the culmination of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) joint research and development program that was initiated between NASA and Orbital in late 2008. (NASA photo)

Изменено: Salo - 13.07.2013 22:47:56
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Mon, 9 July, 2012
MSFC Director Goldman Leaving NASA for Aerojet
By Dan Leone

WASHINGTON — Arthur “Gene” Goldman is leaving his post as director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala., to become head of Southeast Space Operations for Aerojet effective Aug. 6, the Sacramento, Calif., rocket-engine maker said.

Aerojet announced Goldman’s hiring in a July 9 press release. A NASA press release said Goldman will leave the agency Aug. 3.

Robin Henderson, Marshall’s associate director, will succeed Goldman as director, NASA said in its release. Goldman had been with NASA since 1990. He joined the agency as a project engineer in Marshall’s space shuttle project integration office.

Goldman has been running Marshall since early March when then-director Robert Lightfoot left Huntsville for Washington to become NASA’s associate administrator, the agency’s highest ranking civil servant position.

The Marshall Space Flight Center has had a leading role in NASA rocket development since the beginning of the U.S. space program. It is currently managing design and development of the Space Launch System (SLS), the congressionally mandated heavy-lift rocket NASA plans to use for launching astronauts beyond Earth orbit.

Aerojet has been pushing for a bigger role in the SLS program. Last year, the company announced it was partnering with Huntsville-based Teledyne Brown to build liquid-rocket engines for customers including NASA.

NASA has so far announced two SLS flights, one in 2017 and one in 2021. In these missions, SLS will send the Lockheed Martin-built Orion capsule around the Moon and back. Only the second flight will be crewed. The SLS variant that will fly these missions will use existing hardware: five-segment solid boosters developed by Alliant Techsystems for the canceled Constellation program and leftover space shuttle main engines made by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.

Subsequent SLS configurations will require new boosters and more space shuttle main engines — SLS will not reuse its core engines. Julie Van Kleeck, Aerojet's vice president of space and launch systems, has said that Aerojet wants to provide both of these propulsion systems.
Изменено: Salo - 13.07.2013 22:54:25
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"

Mon, 23 July, 2012
Aerojet’s Parent Company Bids $550 Million for Rival Rocketdyne
By Brian Berger

WASHINGTON — Aerojet parent company GenCorp. Inc. said July 23 that it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne from United Technologies Corp. for $550 million.

GenCorp intends to finance the acquisition of Aerojet’s chief liquid-propulsion rival with a combination of cash on hand and issuance of debt, the Sacramento, Calif., company said in a press release.

United Technologies Corp. has been looking to sell Canoga Park, Calif.-based Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and other noncore businesses to help finance its purchase of Goodrich Corp.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne provides the main propulsion systems for the United Launch Alliance Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. The company also is under contract to provide the core engines for NASA’s Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket currently under development.

GenCorp Chief Executive Scott Seymour said buying Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne would nearly double the size of GenCorp’s propulsion business.

“We see great strategic value in this transaction for the country, our customers, partners supply base and our shareholders,” Seymour said in a statement. “The combined enterprise will be better positioned to compete in a dynamic, highly competitive marketplace, and provide more affordable products for our customers.”

GenCorp said it expects the deal to close in the first half of 2013, assuming federal regulators approve the deal.
Изменено: Salo - 04.11.2012 18:14:53
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NASA, Air Force Haggling Over Cost Sharing on Engine Project (Source: Space News)

Negotiations on a proposal in which NASA and the U.S. Air Force would jointly fund an Aerojet-led propulsion project that could pave the way for a U.S. alternative to the Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine are bogged down over cost sharing issues, according to government and industry officials.

The impasse centers on how much funding the Air Force would provide for tests Aerojet has proposed as part of a program aimed at upgrading NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) crew and cargo rocket. Aerojet is one of four companies NASA sel ected in July to work on liquid- and solid-fueled booster concepts meant to improve SLS’s lift capacity and affordability.

Having set aside $200 million for a 30-month SLS Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and Risk Reduction effort, NASA signed contracts with ATK, Dynetics, and Northrop Grumman. The combined value of the awards is $137.3 million. Conspicuously absent fr om the mix was Aerojet, one of the three main U.S. rocket propulsion providers. NASA spokeswoman Jennifer Stanfield confirmed Oct. 26 that Aerojet’s Advanced Booster award was still in negotiations. (10/26)
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NASA, Air Force Haggle Over Cost Sharing on New Engine

Posted byDoug Messier
on November 1, 2012, at 6:19 am
in News

Space News reports on the progress of a program that could lead to a replacement for Atlas V’s Russian-supplied first stage engine:
Negotiations on a proposal in which NASA and the U.S. Air Force would jointly fund an Aerojet-led propulsion project that could pave the way for a U.S. alternative to the Russian-built RD-180 rocket engine are bogged down over cost sharing issues, according to government and industry officials.
The impasse centers on how much funding the Air Force would provide for tests Aerojet has proposed as part of a program aimed at upgrading NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) crew and cargo rocket. Aerojet is one of four companies NASA sel ected in July to work on liquid- and solid-fueled booster concepts meant to improve SLS’s lift capacity and affordability.
When it debuts in 2017, SLS will rely on a pair of five-segment solid-rocket boosters and a cluster of four RS-25 engines — both remnants of the retired space shuttle program — to haul 70 metric tons to orbit. NASA plans to eventually add advanced boosters and a new upper stage to increase SLS’s hauling capacity to 130 metric tons.
Having set aside $200 million for a 30-month SLS Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and Risk Reduction effort, NASA announced Oct. 1 that it had signed contracts with Utah-based ATK Launch Systems; Huntsville, Ala.-based Dynetics; and Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. The combined value of the awards is $137.3 million.
Conspicuously absent fr om the mix was Sacramento, Calif.-based Aerojet, one of the three main U.S. rocket propulsion providers.
Изменено: Salo - 13.07.2013 22:55:30
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Von Braun 2012 Presentations:

Julie Van Kleeck, Vice President, Space and Launch Systems, Aerojet  
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FTC Approves Aerojet-Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Merger
By Mike Gruss | Jun. 11, 2013

WASHINGTON — GenCorp Inc. is free to proceed with its $550 million acquisition of rocket engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne from United Technologies Corp. after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) closed an investigation into whether the transaction would lead to an anti-competitive marketplace.

An FTC investigation had found the merger would give Sacramento, Calif.-based Aerojet, and its parent company GenCorp., a monopoly in liquid divert and altitude control systems, or LDACS, which are used for missile defense interceptors. Such an arrangement could lead to higher prices for the U.S. Defense Department, the FTC said.

In January, GenCorp said Aerojet planned to divest its LDACS business.

But in a June 6 letter, the Defense Department asked the FTC to allow the merger, claiming it could help space launch requirements and that the divestiture of the LDACS business would be “impossible due to highly unusual national security circumstances.”

Citing the Defense Department’s position, the FTC announced June 10 it had closed its investigation and would allow the merger to proceed unchallenged.

East Hartford, Conn.-based United Technologies Corp. and Aerojet announced the deal for Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif., in July 2012. The merger will create a dominant U.S. supplier of liquid-fueled rocket engines in addition to in-space and missile propulsion systems.

Aerojet also is one of two U.S. suppliers of solid-rocket motors, the other being ATK Aerospace of Magna, Utah.
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Antares First-stage Engines Available Long Term, Aerojet Rocketdyne Chief Says
By Peter B. de Selding | Jun. 17, 2013

Aerojet Rocketdyne President Warren Boley. Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne photo

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Изменено: Salo - 08.06.2015 07:02:55
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Paris Air Show 2013. «Аэроджет Рокетдайн» представила гиперзвуковые технологии

18 июня 2013 г.

«Военный Паритет». Американская компания Aerojet Rocketdyne на прошлой неделе приобрела активы Gencorp, входившей в состав группы United Technologies на сумму 550 млн долл США, сообщает flightglobal.com 17 июня. Президент Aerojet Уоррен Боли (Warren Boley), выступая на Парижской авиакосмической выставке, заявил, что это может приблизить создание ракет с «ультравысокой скоростью полета».

К концу этого года компании Boeing и Raytheon с применением сверхзвуковых прямоточных воздушно-реактивных двигателей (СПВРД) создадут ракеты воздушного базирования со скоростью 4М. В конечно итоге будут созданы гиперзвуковые ракеты, способные поражать цели на земле и в воздухе, в том числе уничтожать противокорабельные ракеты, угрожающие американским военным кораблям. Такие ракеты поступят на вооружение каждого американского истребителя, предсказывает Боли. По его мнению, перспективы продаж гиперзвуковых ракет будут просто «лучезарными».

«США находятся в точке развития, где скорость либо дополнит или заменит стелс-технологии», говорит Боли, и добавляет, что «скорость 4М это все равно что скорострельный пулемет по отношению к винтовке Винчестера». Перспективы гиперзвуковых технологий были продемонстрированы в полете демонстратора Х-51, что открывает возможности создания авиалайнеров со скоростью полета 6М, о котором так долго мечтали провидцы.

Боли уверен, что недолго осталось до того момента, когда авиалайнер потратит всего два часа, чтобы долететь от Парижа до Сиднея. Ракеты со скоростью 4М должны сначала выйти на начальную сверхзвуковую скорость, чтобы затем включить СПВРД, а включение гиперзвукового ПВРД возможно только после достижения скорости 4М. «Это реальная возможность», говорит Боли.

Слияние компаний  Aerojet Rocketdyne и Gencorp позволит сэкономить на разработках 1 млрд долл в течение 10 лет, начиная с 2016 года. В перспективе Aerojet Rocketdyne может предложить полный пакет гиперзвуковых технологий для перспективных космических двигателей и ракетных систем ПРО, говорит Боли.

"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Two engine rivals merge into Aerojet Rocketdyne
Posted: June 18, 2013

Two commercial suppliers of rocket power in the U.S. have completed their merger and "launched" into business under the new banner Aerojet Rocketydyne, promising the government it will reduce costs.

Credit: Pat Corkery/United Launch Alliance

GenCorp Inc. announced last July it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne from its parent United Technologies Corp. for $550 million. GenCorp, headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., also owns Aerojet. Buying PWR meant the firm would combine the two primary producers of rocket engines in the U.S., with customers including United Launch Alliance and Orbital Sciences.
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Изменено: Salo - 20.06.2013 22:09:14
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Aerojet, Kuznetsov To Restart NK-33 Rocket Motor Production

By Amy Butler abutler@aviationweek.com, Frank Morring, Jr. morring@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First

June 18, 2013
Credit: NASA

The newly formed Aerojet Rocketdyne is crafting a plan with the Russian Kuznetsov Design Bureau to restart production of the NK-33 rocket engine to assuage concerns from NASA that enough propulsion systems will be available for missions planned to resupply the International Space Station.

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ESP Tapped to Supply Thrusters for COSMIC-2
By Warren Ferster | Jun. 21, 2013

WASHINGTON — European Space Propulsion (ESP), a division of U.S. propulsion provider Aerojet Rocketdyne, will supply hydrazine thrusters for six small satellites being built by Britain’s Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. for the U.S.-Taiwan COSMIC-2 weather mission, the newly created ESP announced June 21.

The contract, financial terms of which were not disclosed, includes options to equip an additional six satellites, ESP said in a press release. The contract was awarded by Surrey and is the first for ESP of Belfast, Ireland, the press release said.

COSMIC-2 is a planned constellation of 12 satellites that will monitor weather conditions based on atmospheric distortion of GPS navigation signals. The first six satellites are slated to launch in 2015 aboard a demonstration flight on Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s Falcon Heavy rocket, but funding prospects for the second batch of satellites are uncertain.

The ESP thrusters are based on a flight-proven design originally developed by Aerojet Rocket for NASA’s Voyager deep-space probes, the press release said.

“ESP represents a new competitive force in the European arena,” Aerojet Rocketdyne President Warren M. Boley said in a prepared statement. “It will maintain a strong European identity while leveraging Aerojet Rocketdyne’s seven-decade legacy of propulsion performance. International collaboration, which is fundamental to ESP’s approach, will lower costs and enhance customer support.”
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Green Fuel Thruster Passes Key Preflight Test

By Irene Klotz | Jul. 11, 2013

Michael Gazarik, NASA associate administrator for space technology, holds up a model thruster at the GPIM press conference with an inset of the flight demonstration configuration. Credit: NASA photo by Carla Cioffi (main) and Aerojet Rocketdyne image (inset).

A NASA-backed project to demonstrate a safer and more efficient propellant for in-space propulsion is on track for launch in 2015 following a key ground test proving a small rocket thruster could burn the green fuel for about as long as what would be needed for an operational mission.
“We got the data we needed. We’re continuing to do a little more testing now, but we’re ready for our flight design,” said Roger Myers, executive director for advanced propulsion at Aerojet Rocketdyne, which is developing the technology for Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., NASA’s prime contractor for the Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM).
GPIM is intended to demonstrate an alternative to highly toxic hydrazine that is safer to handle, less expensive and more efficient for use on satellites. Green propellants like AF-M315E have been around for decades but their higher operating temperatures complicate engine operations.
About two years ago, Aerojet developed a new catalyst that resolved the problem, leading NASA to commit about $42 million for the GPIM flight demonstration.
“Up until that time we were talking about 10 seconds of firing timing before the engine would decay,” GPIM lead scientist Christopher McLean, with Ball Aerospace, told reporters July 9.
The team recently completed a thruster pulsing test culminating in 11 hours of continuous firing, paving the way for a critical design review before the end of the year.
The flight demonstration will showcase two thrusters — a 1 Newton and a 22 Newton type — that have the largest share of the market. They will be integrated into a Ball Aerospace satellite and launched as a secondary payload aboard a Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon Heavy rocket flying the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program-2 mission. The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Space Development and Test Directorate told SpaceNews in June that the launch is scheduled for September 2015.
During GPIM’s planned 81-day flight, the thrusters will be fired to simulate a spacecraft’s typical modes of operation in orbit and during re-entry into the atmosphere.
While NASA and the Air Force are interested in the green fuel technology for their own missions, the real target for GPIM is the commercial market.
“In today’s world you can not — and do not — want to load a spacecraft with hydrazine and ship it. The dangers are just too great. You can do that now with this propellant. That really changes the game of how we do spacecraft processing and get it to the launch site,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology.
“If you get this stuff on your hands, you wash it off. It’s not going to kill you,” McLean added. “I wouldn’t want to drink it, however, the lethal dose on this is pretty good especially compared to the fuels we’ve been using.”
Tests show the green fuel AF-M315E boost performance by 50 percent over hydrazine and is less expensive, though much of the cost savings would stem from simpler ground processing, storage and handling.
AF-M315E was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, which is a partner in the project.
Изменено: Salo - 08.06.2015 07:01:35
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
Development of U.S. Closed-loop Kerolox Engine Stuck in 2nd Gear

By Dan Leone | Jul. 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — In the past decade and a half, every U.S. agency that operates spacecraft has come to depend on one particular style of Russian-designed, kerosene-fueled rocket engine, made by former Soviet design bureaus and sold to U.S. companies for use on American rockets.
This international supply chain, forged in the late 1990s to bring NPO Energomash’s RD-180 to U.S. shores for Lockheed Martin’s Atlas 3, has bridged gaps between former Cold War rivals and produced rockets so reliable that the U.S. military buys them in bulk. NASA, likewise, has turned to that engine to launch one-of-a-kind science spacecraft, operational weather satellites and a planned eight cargo delivery missions to the international space station.
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Изменено: Salo - 08.06.2015 06:59:21
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
NASA, Industry Test Additively Manufactured Rocket Engine Injector

Posted by Doug Messier

on July 13, 2013, at 10:10 am  in News

Liquid oxygen/gaseous hydrogen rocket injector assembly built using additive manufacturing technology is hot-fire tested at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Rocket Combustion Laboratory in Cleveland. (Credit: NASA Glenn Research Center)

CLEVELAND, July 11, 2013 (NASA PR) – NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne of West Palm Beach, Fla., recently finished testing a rocket engine injector made through additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing.
This space technology demonstration may lead to more efficient manufacturing of rocket engines, saving American companies time and money.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland conducted the successful tests for Aerojet Rocketdyne through a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement.
A series of firings of a liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen rocket injector assembly demonstrated the ability to design, manufacture and test a highly critical rocket engine component using selective laser melting manufacturing technology. Aerojet Rocketdyne designed and fabricated the injector by a method that employs high-powered laser beams to melt and fuse fine metallic powders into three dimensional structures.
“NASA recognizes that on Earth and potentially in space, additive manufacturing can be game-changing for new mission opportunities, significantly reducing production time and cost by ‘printing’ tools, engine parts or even entire spacecraft,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “3-D manufacturing offers opportunities to optimize the fit, form and delivery systems of materials that will enable our space missions while directly benefiting American businesses here on Earth.”
This type of injector manufactured with traditional processes would take more than a year to make but with these new processes it can be produced in less than four months, with a 70 percent reduction in cost.
“Rocket engine components are complex machined pieces that require significant labor and time to produce. The injector is one of the most expensive components of an engine,” said Tyler Hickman, who led the testing at Glenn.
Aerojet Rocketdyne’s additive manufacturing program manager, Jeff Haynes, said the injector represents a significant advancement in application of additive manufacturing, most often used to make simple brackets and other less critical hardware. “The injector is the heart of a rocket engine and represents a large portion of the resulting cost of these systems. Today, we have the results of a fully additive manufactured rocket injector with a demonstration in a relevant environment,” he said.
Glenn and Aerojet Rocketdyne partnered on the project with the Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. At the Air Force lab, a unique high-pressure facility provided pre-test data early in the program to give insight into the spray patterns of additively manufactured injector elements.
“Hot fire testing the injector as part of a rocket engine is a significant accomplishment in maturing additive manufacturing for use in rocket engines,” said Carol Tolbert, manager of the Manufacturing Innovation Project at Glenn. “These successful tests let us know that we are ready to move on to demonstrate the feasibility of developing full-size, additively manufactured parts.”
For more information about Aerojet Rocketdyne, visit:
For information about NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, visit:
For more information about the Air Force Research Laboratory, visit:
The Manufacturing Innovation Project is supported by the Game Changing Technology Program in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in NASA’s future missions. For more information about NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, visit:
Изменено: Salo - 13.07.2013 21:56:52
"Были когда-то и мы рысаками!!!"
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