Space

October 31, 2012

Interorbital marks major milestone with rocket engine firing

GPRE 7.5KNTA Main Rocket Engine Test (October 28, 2012). Luminous desert sand vortices reflect the extreme brilliance of the rocket plume.

On a calm clear High Desert October evening, Interorbital Systems’ NEPTUNE rocket series’ main engine roared to life in its first hot-firing test in Mojave, Calif.

The engine, the IOS GPRE 7.5KNTA (General Purpose Rocket Engine; 7,500 pound thrust; Nitric Acid; Turpentine; Ablative cooling), blasted a 22-foot plume of fire across Interorbital’s Mojave Spaceport test area, scorching the sand an additional 50 feet beyond the plume end.

The all-composite chambered 7,500-pound (33,362-newton) thrust engine is the largest rocket engine in the world utilizing high-density, storable nitric acid and turpentine. These hypergolic propellants provide almost instantaneous chemical ignition.

This static firing marks a major milestone in the evolution of the company’s NEPTUNE Modular Orbital Launch Vehicle series.
Refining the engine operation paves the way for the first flight test of the CPM – Common Propulsion Module – the stand-alone rocket that is the primary construction element of various bundled configurations that yield launch vehicles specially designed to meet specific mission requirements.

IOS’ first orbital launcher is a seven-module rocket designated the NEPTUNE 7 (N7) – powered by seven of the GPRE 7.5KNTA engines – and purposed to lift a mixed-manifest of some 24 TubeSats and CubeSats on each launch.

Interorbital recently completed a NASA Phase I SBIR contract, awarded to further the development of the NEPTUNE Modular Rocket series.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 
 
Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation The Colorado River Basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater over the past nine years, according to a new study based on data from NASA’s GRACE mission. This is almost d...
 
 

NASA selects contract for mission support services at Ames

NASA has selected Wyle Laboratories, Inc., Houston, to support NASA’s flight programs and mission projects, providing support for multiple sustained project management, research and technology development capabilities that encompass all phases of mission and project lifecycles at the agency’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The cost-plus-fixed-fee hybrid contract has a...
 

 
NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI) and N. Madhusudhan (UC) image

Hubble finds three surprisingly dry exoplanets

NASA, ESA, G. Bacon (STScI) and N. Madhusudhan (UC) image This is an artistic illustration of the gas giant planet HD 209458b in the constellation Pegasus. To the surprise of astronomers, they have found much less water vapor i...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Budget cuts, growing threats affect space operations

Air Force photograph The Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, system is a joint service satellite communications system that provides survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priori...
 
 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>