January 15, 2024

The Meco - Issue #7

Aerojet Rocketdyne to deliver 116 RL10C-X engines for its Vulcan Centaur rocket

RL10C-X Engine by Aerojet Rocketdyne

A new version of the 60-year-old RL10 engine, the RL10C-X, is expected to debut in 2025 on the Vulcan Centaur rocket.

This engine uses additive manufacturing for its entire thrust chamber and features a carbon-silicon nozzle for improved efficiency.

The RL10C-X engine is currently undergoing certification and is set to increase production from 16 to 18 engines per year to 40 per year​.

NASA's 3D-Printed Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine (RDRE)

NASA has successfully tested a novel, 3D-printed RDRE offering significant thrust and efficiency.

This propulsion system is a crucial step forward in developing efficient engines for deep-space missions and is part of NASA's Moon to Mars vision​​.
Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, conduct a successful, 251-second hot fire test of a full-scale Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine combustor in fall 2023, achieving more than 5,800 pounds of thrust. NASA

Typhoon Rocket Engine by The Exploration Company

Thrust chamber testing of the Nyx Moon main engine | Credit: The Exploration Company
A reusable methane-powered staged combustion rocket engine, capable of producing about 200 tonnes of thrust, is being developed by The Exploration Company.
This engine is part of a broader initiative to develop a modular, reusable spacecraft called Nyx, with applications ranging from cargo delivery to lunar orbit and surface missions​.
Dawn Aerospace has achieved a significant milestone by conducting a complete (112-second) bi-propellant rocket engine test for the Mk-II Aurora spaceplane at its modern testing facility in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Dawn Aerospace's Mk-II Aurora Spaceplane Engine

Dawn Aerospace has completed a full-duration bi-propellant test of the Mk-II Aurora spaceplane's rocket engine.

This engine uses HTP and kerosene as propellants and is part of Dawn's ambition to develop a global fleet of spaceplanes with aircraft-like operations​.
These developments represent significant advancements in rocket propulsion, showcasing a trend towards more efficient, sustainable, and versatile rocket engines.

Interactive mission control room scene from MECO Rocket Simulator game with operators at workstations and holographic Earth display
The emphasis on additive manufacturing, hybrid propulsion systems, and reusable technology reflects the evolving priorities in space exploration and satellite deployment.

These innovations will likely substantially impact future space missions, including lunar exploration, Mars missions, and commercial satellite launches.

State of The Impending Sim - Part V

Gas networks solver in action with 2 inlet elements connected a central element with 2 outlet elements which are choked at the exit (Mach ~1)
Howdy Stranger Meco Rocket Simulator is a crucial tool for democratizing access to rocket engine design. It provides an interactive platform for enthusiasts and professionals to virtually design, build, and test rocket engines. This partially open-source simulator enhances learning and innovation in aerospace engineering by offering hands-on experience with realistic simulations of historic space missions and engine designs. It plays …

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