DailyDirt: Rocket Engines, Old And New
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Rockets capable of sending payloads into orbit aren’t too common. Not surprisingly, a vehicle that has to control an enormous explosion and direct the thrust in a specified direction isn’t easy to make reliable. So when rocket scientists have created a design that works, it doesn’t make that much sense to radically change the design without good reasons. Here are just a few examples of rocket engines that are gradually evolving and improving as the demands of space launches grow.
- NASA’s younger rocket scientists needed to reverse engineer the F-1 engines that powered the Saturn V rockets and took astronauts to the moon. The lesson helped create the F-1B engine that will produce 1.8 million pounds of thrust — and use more modern manufacturing techniques to build it. [url]
- Blue Origin (another young aerospace company owned by a billionaire: Jeff Bezos, not Elon Musk) will partner with the United Launch Alliance to create the BE-4 engine. The BE-4 engine will replace the use of Russian rocket engines and give NASA another domestic option for launching stuff into space. [url]
- Orbital Sciences Corp is considering a replacement engine for the AJ-26 engines it currently uses — which are based on Soviet-era NK-33 engines developed in the 1960s. ATK could supply a solid rocket engine suitable for the first stage of Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket which has successfully sent re-supply payloads to the International Space Station. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: aj-26 engine, antares, be-4 engine, f-1 engine, iss, manned missions, nk-33 engine, rockets, saturn v, space, space exploration
Companies: blue origin, nasa, orbital sciences corp, united launch alliance