Most recently, Rocketdyne developed the Linear Aerospike engine
, which demonstrates key technologies and lower operating costs needed for the next generation of reusable launch vehicles.
We are amazed and delighted at how smoothly the test program has gone so far,'' said Mike McKeon, program manager for the XRS-2000 linear aerospike engine
at Boeing Rocketdyne.
Lockheed Martin officials say the one-tenth scale linear aerospike engine
was troubled by liquid oxygen leaks, and they had derived enough information in two firings on the ground and five flights to test engine characteristics and gas flows.
They work on the international space station and the linear aerospike engine
for the X-33 launch vehicle being developed for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
The X-33 program is experiencing delays on two of its major components - the technically challenging, innovative linear aerospike engine
and a set of liquid hydrogen fuel tanks.
The $20 million Linear Aerospike SR-71 Experiment program will gather information about the X-33 model's airflow with the linear aerospike engine
and its exhaust plume.
The power plant is a linear aerospike engine
that adjusts itself to perform with maximum efficiency at all altitudes.
The X-33 did create some valuable technologies, Stephenson said, among them the creation of the linear aerospike engines
built by Boeing's Rocketdyne division in Canoga Park, new advanced thermal protection, and ``self-healing'' electronic instruments.
After launch, the X-33's linear aerospike engines
- a design studied in the early 1970s for the space shuttles, but never tested - will burn until the craft reaches its intended speed and altitude.