by Staff Writers
Washington DC (Sputnik) Jan 11, 2018
The new engine has been in development for seven years already. The US space program currently relies on the RD-180 engine to propel the Atlas V rocket, the only American vehicle capable of sending heavy payloads into orbit.
American aerospace company Blue Origin has released video footage showing a recent test of its Blue Engine 4 (BE-4) next-generation rocket engine, which is planned to replace the Russian-produced RD-180 engine in future American space launches.
During the test, Blue Origin managed to exceed its specific impulse targets (Isp), the company said in a Twitter post. Specific impulse is a measure indicating how effectively a jet engine uses fuel.
The company also said it continues "to exercise the deep throttling of our full scale 550,000 lbf BE-4, the reusability of our hydrostatic pump bearings and our stable start/stop cycles."
?The video shows a test of the engine's ability to throttle. Engine throttling helps manage the acceleration of a rocket. Usually, a rocket goes at full throttle, but throttling capabilities are crucial for a reusable rocket.
Blue Origin has been working on the BE-4 engine for the last seven years. A fully assembled BE-4 engine was unveiled in March 2017.
In October 2016, Blue Origin's founder Jeff Bezos announced that the company had successfully conducted the first firing test of the new engine.
The BE-4 engine is planned to power the Vulcan rocket which is being built by the United Launch Alliance (ULA). The Vulcan is planned to replace the Atlas V rocket, which relies on the RD-180 engine.
It is also expected that the new engine will be used to propel the New Glenn heavy rocket, which is also being developed by Blue Origin.
READ MORE: NASA's New Ion Thruster Breaks Records, Could Propel Manned Mission to Mars
The United States has used the reliable and relatively cheap RD-180, designed and manufactured by NPO Energomash, since 2000.
In 2014, US lawmakers imposed limits on future RD-180 purchases, passing a law that required the US to phase out the Russian-made engines in favor of domestically produced next-generation rocket propulsion systems.
However, in December 2015, the US Congress passed a budget that includes a provision allowing the country to continue buying the Russian RD-180 rocket engines. Shortly after, the ULA ordered an additional 20 RD-180 engines at the request of the Pentagon.
Source: Sputnik News
Dulles VA (SPX) Jan 05, 2018
Orbital has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). The CRADA provides the framework and plan for data exchanges needed to certify Orbital ATK's Next Generation Launch (NGL) system to carry National Security Space missions. "Under this CRADA, Orbital ATK is better able to support SMC in being the guar ... read more
Rocket Science News at Space-Travel.Com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2022 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.|