C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

USAF pursues indigenously developed rocket engines

19 December 2017

After completing the first full-scale testing of a rocket engine component under the Hydrocarbon Boost (HCB) programme, researchers at the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) are one step closer to addressing the country's reliance on Russian rockets for its space programmes.

Additionally, AFRL will begin using three-dimensional (3D) printed parts in upcoming tests, the first such use for some of the components in a rocket engine.

According to the laboratory, the HCB programme is developing technologies needed for the Oxygen-Rich Staged Combustion (ORSC) cycle used on Russian RD-180 rocket engines, which the United States has been buying and using since 2002.

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