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Venus Aerospace Advances NASA Tests on Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine

Hypersonic engine design

Venus Aerospace Advances NASA Tests on Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine

A partnership between Venus Aerospace and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will undertake simulation flight tests on rotating detonation rocket engines.

According to Venus Aerospace, a Houston-based hypersonic flight platforms developer, the tests will involve its engine injector design for a hypersonic RDRE, which has delivered the highest performance and longest detonation engine operation in previous tests.

The design uses a regenerative cooled RDRE architecture that delivered 4-minute engine runs in hotfire tests compared with just 1-2 seconds in similar RDRE tests, Venus Aerospace said Monday.

The longer hotfire indicates that its RDRE design has passed a major risk area and can advance into the few further steps before actual flight testing, the company added.

Venus said that its NASA partnership will spur RDRE research and development and help open business opportunities for hypersonic engines. The company is now in the second year of its contract with NASA to provide engine parts for the agency’s RDRE research and development.

Andrew Duggleby, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, said Venus sees its NASA partnership as a key to maturing RDRE technology. The space agency is considering the engines for several in-space uses, such as powering lunar and Mars landers.   

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Tags: Andrew Duggleby Future Trends hypersonic Marshall Space Flight Center NASA rotating detonation rocket engines Venus Aerospace