Space

November 20, 2013

XCOR Aerospace, ULA achieve major milestone in liquid hydrogen engine program

xcor
XCOR Aerospace and United Launch Alliance announced a significant milestone Nov. 19, the first successful hot fire of the subscale 2500 lbf thrust XR-5H25 engine in the XCOR® and ULA liquid hydrogen engine development program.

“The first hot fire of any engine is a major milestone but the first firing of a liquid hydrogen engine in our LH2 program is an even bigger accomplishment,” noted XCOR Chief Executive Officer Jeff Greason. “The hot fire of this engine moves us forward on a path to routine tests and further demonstration of fully reusable, high reliability rocket engines for which we are known.”

“XCOR’s ability to develop inexpensive, innovative and out-of-the-box solutions to some of the most challenging problems in modern cryogenic rocket engine technology was on display in Mojave,” said George Sowers, vice president of Strategic Architecture at ULA. “It was a great first set of engine runs and we look forward to seeing the engine and XCOR’s unique piston pumps integrated together in 2014.”

Conceived as a lower-cost, risk-managed approach, the goal of the XCOR/ULA LH2 engine program is to produce and operate a subscale demonstration engine.  This demonstrator will enable a future decision to pursue development of a flight-ready cryogenic upper-stage engine in the 25,000 lbf thrust class.  The technology has significant growth potential due to its unique thermodynamic cycle and piston pump. The larger thrust XCOR XR-8H21 LH2 engine should cost significantly less to produce and be much easier to operate than competing upper stage rocket engine technologies.

XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson said, “I was very impressed with how our team dedicated itself to achieving a task that has not been accomplished in at least a quarter century, maybe more; the development of a new way to do liquid hydrogen rocket engines that fundamentally breaks current cost, reliability and operational models.  Even more than that, it will be the first piston-pump-fed LH2 rocket engine anywhere.”

The 5H25 engine is intended as a testbed, but could also be suitable for future in-space use on upper stages, earth departure stages, landers, and probes. Nelson added, “This is a significant leap forward in the hope to deliver yet another line of innovation and business to XCOR. And it is only taking place right here.”




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


 
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 

 

Lockheed Martin solar ultraviolet imager installed on GOES-R weather satellite

Lockheed Martin has delivered a new solar analysis payload that will help scientists measure and forecast space weather, which can damage satellites, electrical grids and communications systems on Earth. The Solar Ultraviolet Imager instrument was integrated with the first flight vehicle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationís next-generation Geostationary Operational Environm...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft powers through first integrated system testing

Lockheed Martin photograph Engineers in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASAís Kennedy Space Center in Florida, perform avionics testing on the Orion spacecraft being prepared for its first trip to space later this yea...
 
 

NASA signs agreement with SpaceX for use of historic launch pad

NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site. NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida’s...
 




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>