Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine testing

NASA’s 3D-printed Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine test, reveals the successful firing of a powerful RDRE combustor.

This engine, in NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, operating for a record 251 seconds, generated over 5,800 pounds of thrust.

NASA explains that the RDRE is distinct from regular rocket engines because produces thrust by detonation, a supersonic combustion that generates more power while using less fuel. This innovative design offers greater power with lower fuel consumption compared to current propulsion systems. It holds the potential to propel both human landers and interplanetary vehicles on missions to distant destinations like the Moon and Mars.

Thomas Teasley, a combustion devices engineer at Marshall who leads the RDRE tests, said:

“That kind of sustained burn emulates typical requirements for a lander touchdown or a deep-space burn that could set a spacecraft on course from the Moon to Mars.”

source NASA