Sorry it’s been several days since I’ve had a chance to post. Just about two years ago, I saw a funny quote referenced on Rocketforge.org. Apparently somebody had asked:
How come on real rockets they always have funnel like things on the back of the thruster thingo?
To which a rocket historian, Peter Alway replied:
Because the hot flamey stuff that comes out of the thruster thingo is accelleratized to the fastness of that noisy stuff you hear by passing through an other-way funnel-like thingy before it reaches the funnel-like things you see, and by going through the funnel-like things it embiggens, which acceleratizes it to several times faster than that noisy stuff you hear. The faster the flamey stuff leaves the thruster thingo, the faster the rocket travels when it runs out of the gunk it burns.
Ever since then, the phrase “hot flamey stuff” has kinda stuck.
Well, last weekend we conjured up some of our own “hot flamey stuff”, making Masten Space Systems a real rocket company! Man was that impressive! I was standing about 1/4 mile away from the trailer, manning a fire station, and you could feel the power coming out of that bad-boy. We definitely aren’t yet an XCOR when it comes to engine development experience, but little-by-little, we’re getting there.
We still have a lot of work left to go before we have a flight-ready engine, but if our igniter experience is anything to go off of, now that we’ve finally had one firing, everything else should start moving a lot quicker. The engine we were testing was a water-cooled workbench version of our 500lbf LOX/IPA throttleable vernier engines that we’ll be using on our XA-1 suborbital rocket vehicle. Once we have a set of four vernier engines working reliably and safely, we intend to fly them on a demonstrator vehicle, the XA-0.1, which is currently under development. Maybe by the time the actual X-Prize Cup competitions start next October, we’ll have a vehicle in the race too.
But, dang that was sweet!
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