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Aerojet Rocketdyne Wraps Up Hot Fire Tesing of New RL10C-X Space Rocket Engine

Aerojet Rocketdyne
Aerojet Rocketdyne

Aerojet Rocketdyne has concluded a series of hot fire tests with the 3D printed RL10C-X engine, which is designed to generate 24,000 pounds of thrust for space rockets.

The company said Tuesday it tested RL10C-X in a flight-like configuration to showcase its long-duration endurance and full mission capability.

The test took place in a test chamber designed to replicate an outer space condition, with RL10C-X also demonstrating its ignition capability even at extreme in-flight settings.

The upper-stage engine, which is the latest in the RL10 series, features 3D printed major components including a combustion chamber and an injector.

Eileen Drake, president and CEO of Aerojet Rocketdyne, said the testing's completion demonstrates that 3D-printing can be used in the RL10 program to save resources while not sacrificing engine performance.

RL10C-X has undergone over 5,000 seconds of full-engine, hot fire testing in total.

United Launch Alliance plans to eventually use RL10C-X for the Vulcan Centaur rocket's upper stage. Aerojet Rocketdyne works on RL10C-X in partnership with the U.S. Air Force.


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