NASA's New Propulsion Technology for Deep Space Missions

NASA announces successful new propulsion technology the Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine, or RDRE, tested at Marshall Space Flight Center.

A team of propulsion development engineers at NASA have developed and tested the first full-scale rotating detonation rocket engine, an advanced design that could significantly change how future propulsion systems are built.

Above: Rotating detonation rocket engine or RDRE hot fire test at Marshall Space Flight Center. Credits: NASA

The RDRE achieved its primary test objective by demonstrating that its hardware – made from novel additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, designs, and processes – could operate for long durations while withstanding the extreme heat and pressure environments generated by detonations. While operating at full throttle, the RDRE produced over 4,000 pounds of thrust for nearly a minute at an average chamber pressure of 622 pounds per square inch, the highest pressure rating for this design on record.

source NASA