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NASA tests out 'Ferrari of rocket engines'


Posted on Friday, 14 August, 2015 | Comment icon 10 comments

The explosive rocket test was an impressive sight. Image Credit: NASA
NASA has been testing out a powerful new rocket engine that will one day help put humans on Mars.
The new engine is a huge step up from previous designs and will be an integral part of the space agency's new 'Space Launch System' for sending astronauts on missions to other worlds.

The enormously powerful rocket engine was fired yesterday at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi where it produced 512,000 pounds of thrust - the equivalent to 12 million horsepower.

"It is the most complicated rocket engine out there on the market, but that's because it's the Ferrari of rocket engines," said RS-25 propulsion engineer Kathryn Crowe.

"When you're looking at designing a rocket engine, there are several different ways you can optimise it. You can optimise it through increasing its thrust, increasing the weight to thrust ratio, or increasing its overall efficiency and how it consumes your propellant. With this engine, they maximised all three."

NASA's Martin Burkey indicated that the RS-25 is so powerful compared to other existing engines that it "makes a modern race car or jet engine look like a wind-up toy."

The actual test itself can be viewed in the video below at around the 31-minute mark.


Source: CNET.com | Comments (10)

Tags: SLS, NASA, Rocket

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Merc14 on 14 August, 2015, 0:21
Great videos Anomalocaris. The RS-25 is an awesome machine and they will be cranking it up to 418K lbs of thrust at mean sea level for SLS. Amazing!
Comment icon #2 Posted by psyche101 on 14 August, 2015, 1:26
The power is just mind boggling isn't it!! Captain Risky is sure to upgrade to one of these........
Comment icon #3 Posted by Merc14 on 14 August, 2015, 1:58
The power is just mind boggling isn't it!! Captain Risky is sure to upgrade to one of these........ LMAO
Comment icon #4 Posted by tipotep on 14 August, 2015, 3:35
The power is just mind boggling isn't it!! Captain Risky is sure to upgrade to one of these........ Lets kick it and rip it
Comment icon #5 Posted by Nzo on 14 August, 2015, 13:42
Well if it's truly the "Ferrari" of jet engines that's probably not a good thing given that Ferrari's are... 1.)ridiculously expensive 2.)ridiculously unreliable 3.)ridiculously expensive to fix 4.)ridiculously hard to find a qualified mechanic to fix them. Which oddly enough sounds about right when looking at the extremely unreliable history of these things.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Merc14 on 14 August, 2015, 15:08
Well if it's truly the "Ferrari" of jet engines that's probably not a good thing given that Ferrari's are... 1.)ridiculously expensive 2.)ridiculously unreliable 3.)ridiculously expensive to fix 4.)ridiculously hard to find a qualified mechanic to fix them. Which oddly enough sounds about right when looking at the extremely unreliable history of these things. The RS-25 has an exceptional record, especially when you consider it was reused on the Shuttle. What do you mean when you say extremely unreliable?
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 14 August, 2015, 15:17
Which oddly enough sounds about right when looking at the extremely unreliable history of these things. Total nonsense. The RS-25 is based on the SSME, and engine that flew 405 times (135 shuttle missions, 3 engines per mission ). In that time the only in-flight failure was a premature shut down of an engine on STS-51F in 1985, and that was caused by a faulty sensor not an engine malfunction. The SSME had a lot of development issues but in service proved to be one of the most reliable rocket motors ever produced by the USA.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Kiltedmusician on 14 August, 2015, 15:24
I worked for the company that fabricated the structural components for that test stand, or possibly one just like it. I did ultrasonic weld inspection on it. Nice to see it finally put to use.
Comment icon #9 Posted by pallidin on 14 August, 2015, 15:30
Wow. This is a seriously impressive rocket engine I want one. .
Comment icon #10 Posted by BeastieRunner on 14 August, 2015, 19:29
Nice video!


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