• Sunday, August 25, 2019

SpaceX’s Starship engine breaks Russian rocketry record held for two decades

Discussion in 'World Affairs' started by Hamartia Antidote, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-starship-engine-breaks-russian-record-extraordinary-test-series/

    SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says the company’s Raptor engine, meant to power Starship and Super Heavy, has surpassed a rocketry record held by Russian scientists and engineers for more than two decades.

    Known as combustion chamber pressure, Raptor has reportedly surpassed a modern Russian engine known as the RD-180, reaching forces equivalent to one Tesla Model 3 balanced on every square inch of Raptor’s combustion chamber, the hardware directly adjacent to a rocket engine’s bell-shaped nozzle.



    First and foremost, it’s far too early to actually crown Raptor as the new official record-holder for combustion chamber pressure. RD-180 has been reliably flying on ULA’s Atlas V rocket with chamber pressures as high ~257.5 bar (3735 psi) since the year 2000, while Raptor has been performing subscale integrated testing for roughly two years and full-scale integrated testing for less than seven days. As such, the fact that full-scale Raptor has achieved ~269 bar (3900 psi) is an almost unbelievably impressive achievement but probably shouldn’t be used to jump to any conclusions just yet.

    Thanks to the 10-20% performance boost supercool liquid methane and oxygen will bring Raptor, currently stuck using propellant just barely cold enough to remain liquid, the engine performing tests could already be made to reach its design specification of 300+ bar (4350+ psi), although Musk cautioned that he wasn’t sure Raptor would be able to survive that power in its current iteration. Nevertheless, 250 bar is apparently more than enough to operate Starship and its Super Heavy booster during most regimes of flight, although maximum thrust (and thus max chamber pressures) is probably desirable for the first minute or so after launch when gravity losses are most significant.

    Ultimately, the sheer speed of SpaceX’s full-scale Raptor test program is easily the most impressive and encouraging aspect of the brand new engine design. While SpaceX does tend towards testing to destruction over putting on kid-gloves around flight or development hardware, it’s safe to say that even SpaceX would avoid frivolously destroying the first full-scale Raptor after just a few dozen seconds of integrated hot-fire testing, indicating that no major red flags have cropped up since the company’s propulsion team began testing on February 3rd. In fact, Musk estimated that six separate static-fires have been performed with Raptor in the seven days since its first ignition.



    As of 2017, Raptor’s McGregor, Texas test cell was fundamentally capped at test durations under 100 seconds, making comparisons difficult. Still, the best possible recent point of comparison to Raptor’s test program can be found in NASA’s series of tests of Space Shuttle engines in preparation for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, an expendable launch vehicle being built by Boeing, Aerojet-Rocketdyne, NGIS (formerly Orbital-ATK), and others with NASA funds. Known as RS-25 under the SLS Program, the Space Shuttle engines being test-fired by NASA have already performed multiple full-duration missions to orbit and back on the four Space Shuttle orbiters built. After half a decade in storage, they are being re-tested (effectively acceptance testing) to ensure that they are ready to be expended on SLS launches.

    In the first round of 2015 tests, NASA’s Stennis Space Center test stage supported six RS-25 static-fires total, ranging from two weeks to almost five months between tests. RS-25 testing has remained on a similar schedule in 2016-2018, averaging 4-6 tests annually with no fewer than two weeks between static-fires. Given that the vast majority of those ex-Space Shuttle Main Engine tests tend to last hundreds of seconds, it’s not a perfect comparison, but it offers at least a general idea of just how incredible it is to see a groundbreaking engine like Raptor test-fired almost daily just days after it was installed on a test stand for the first time.
     
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  2. ZeEa5KPul

    ZeEa5KPul FULL MEMBER

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    Wow! America just (supposedly) beat a two decade old Russian engine. Impressive!:yahoo:
     
  3. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    It shows SpaceX (on almost a shoestring budget) are now the Masters of rocket engine tech.
    :yahoo:

    When they launch their 7 man spaceship in a few weeks they will further embarrass the government space agencies of the world who can only carry two or three.
    :yahoo:
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  4. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    https://www.businessinsider.com/spacex-raptor-mars-moon-rocket-engine-blast-videos-2019-2

    SpaceX test-fired a giant rocket engine with 'insane power' for moon and Mars missions. The future of Elon Musk's company may ride on its unrivaled performance.

    Elon Musk on Sunday debuted a huge new rocket engine that he said could deliver "insane power" — the kind of oomph that his aerospace company, SpaceX, needs to launch people to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

    Musk shared two videos of a truck-size engine called Raptor spewing out flames and making earsplitting noise at SpaceX's rocket test facility in McGregor, Texas. The company performed the static-fire test, as it's called, in support of a reusable launch system it's developing called Starship-Super Heavy.

    SpaceX is designing Starship to be a roughly 18-story-tall spaceshipmade of stainless steel that can carry about 150 tons of cargo and 100 people to the surface of Mars. Starship will ride to orbit around Earth atop Super Heavy, a colossal rocket booster that may stand 22 stories tall.

    "First firing of Starship Raptor flight engine! So proud of great work by @SpaceX team!!" Musk said in a tweet on Sunday that included the photo above. The test was performed at 65% thrust, according to Ars Technica in its "Rocket Report" newsletter.

    SpaceX test-fired a smaller and more experimental version of Raptorin 2016, but the tests are of a full-scale flight version.

    On Wednesday, SpaceX followed up with a second test-firing of the new Raptor at greater thrust — this time achieving a "power level needed for Starship & Super Heavy," Musk tweeted while sharing the photo below on Thursday. He noted this second test was done with "warm propellant" and that, when fed cryogenically-cooled fuel and oxidizer, it could exceed its required performance by 10-20%.

    A second test-firing of SpaceX's flight version of its Raptor rocket engine on February 6, 2019.
    Elon Musk/SpaceX via Twitter
    Marco Cáceres, a senior space analyst at the Teal Group, which studies the aerospace and defense industry, said the first successful test is a big deal.

    "If this had been a failure, that would mean going back to drawing board, a delay of six months, and a cost of billions in terms of the fast development cycle they're on," Cáceres told Business Insider.

    But SpaceX is not yet through its Raptor engine test program, which may prove pivotal to the future of the company.

    A lot more than Starship will ride on the success of Raptor
    Until late last year, the Starship-Super Heavy system was called Big Falcon Rocket, or BFR. The rebranding came in November, when Musk said the design was being radically overhauled. His plan now is to build the system out of stainless-steel alloys instead of lightweightcarbon-fiber composites.

    To test the basics of the system, SpaceX has been constructing an experimental version of the Starship vehicle at its launch site in southern Texas. This "test hopper" won't reach orbit; instead, it will go no higher than 16,400 feet into the air, then land back on the ground.

    Those tests may begin as soon as March, following repairs to the rocket ship, which fell over last month. A vehicle able to reach orbit may be built this summer, Musk has said.
     
  5. Hassan Guy

    Hassan Guy SENIOR MEMBER

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    upload_2019-2-11_22-2-35.png
     
  6. Dante80

    Dante80 FULL MEMBER

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    It's actually extremely impressive. Not only did SpaceX manage to develop an FFSC engine, it seems that it is also working pretty well too. The last time someone really tried to make an FFSC was back in the 60's (RD-270), but the project was cancelled before it could produce a flight worthy article.