Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fastrac Full-Engine, Hot-Fire Test Successful -- New Rocket Engine Could Dramatically Reduce Launch Costs

Date:
March 16, 1999
Source:
Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
NASA has begun full-engine, hot-fire testing of the Fastrac rocket engine. A 20-second, full-power test this month at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss., demonstrated operation of the complete engine system.

NASA has begun full-engine, hot-fire testing of the Fastrac rocket engine. A 20-second, full-power test this month at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, Miss., demonstrated operation of the complete engine system.

Related Articles


Fastrac is a 60,000-pound-thrust engine that will be used for the first powered flight of NASA’s X-34 technology demonstrator. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., designed and developed the Fastrac engine.

"This is an exciting time as we transition from testing individual pieces of the engine to hot-fire testing of the full engine," said Danny Davis, manager of Marshall’s Low Cost Technologies Project. "This engine will dramatically reduce the cost of launch systems for space transportation. Last Thursday’s test is a key step toward demonstrating that the engine’s inexpensive parts and technologies work well together."

Marshall Center engineers are in their second year of design, analysis and component-level testing of parts such as the injector, gas generator and turbopump. This month’s series of testing at Stennis marked the first time for the whole engine system to be operated at full power. Up to 85 full-engine tests are scheduled at Stennis this year. NASA engineers will examine data collected during full-engine testing to determine if engine design models and analyses are correct.

The Fastrac engine is less expensive than similar engines because of an innovative design approach that uses commercial, off-the-shelf parts and fewer of them. Fastrac uses common manufacturing methods, so building the engine is relatively easy and not as labor-intensive as manufacturing typical rocket engines.

The Fastrac engine operates with a single turbopump, which includes only two pumps – one for kerosene and one for liquid oxygen. Fastrac uses a gas generator cycle, which burns a small amount of kerosene and oxygen to provide gas to drive the turbine and then exhausts the spent fuel.

Since Marshall Center engineers developed the Fastrac engine in-house, there are no industry proprietary rights to its performance data. Technology generated through Fastrac is available to the entire U.S. aerospace industry.

Development and reliability testing will continue through 1999. The Marshall Center is testing individual components and Stennis is conducting system-level tests of the full engine. Marshall shipped the first complete engine system to Stennis in August 1998.

NASA’s industry team for design, development and manufacture of the Fastrac engine includes Summa Technology Inc. of Huntsville, which builds components such as the gas generator, propellant lines, ducts and brackets; Allied Signal Inc. of Tempe, Ariz., and Marotta Scientific Controls Inc. of Montville, N.J., which supply valves; Barber-Nichols Inc., which builds the turbopump; and Thiokol Propulsion, a division of Cordant Technologies Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah, which builds the chamber nozzle.

- end -

Note to Editors/News Directors: Interviews, photos and video supporting this release are available to media representatives by contacting June Malone of the Marshall Media Relations Office at (256) 544-0034. For an electronic version of this release, digital images or more information, visit Marshall’s News Center on the Web: http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news

For more information on the Advanced Space Transportation Program, visit its Web site: http://astp.msfc.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Marshall Space Flight Center. "Fastrac Full-Engine, Hot-Fire Test Successful -- New Rocket Engine Could Dramatically Reduce Launch Costs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990315135743.htm>.
Marshall Space Flight Center. (1999, March 16). Fastrac Full-Engine, Hot-Fire Test Successful -- New Rocket Engine Could Dramatically Reduce Launch Costs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990315135743.htm
Marshall Space Flight Center. "Fastrac Full-Engine, Hot-Fire Test Successful -- New Rocket Engine Could Dramatically Reduce Launch Costs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990315135743.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

Raw: Antares Liftoff Explosion

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Observers near Wallops Island recorded what they thought would be a routine rocket launch Tuesday night. What they recorded was a major rocket explosion shortly after lift off. (Oct 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

Raw: Russian Cargo Ship Docks at Space Station

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Just hours after an American cargo run to the International Space Station ended in flames, a Russian supply ship has arrived at the station with a load of fresh supplies. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Journalist Captures Moment of Antares Rocket Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 29, 2014) A space education journalist is among those who witness and record the explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket seconds after its launch. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

Rocket Explosion Under Investigation

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) NASA and Orbital Sciences officials say they are investigating the explosion of an unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station. It blew up moments after liftoff Tuesday evening over the launch site in Virginia. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins