Which rocket engine can reasonably be considered optimal?

Dec 16, 2020
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Now we see the active development of the space sector. News about some records comes out every week. Most of these records are, of course, relative.
In 2019, SLM Solutions announced that they have produced the largest 3D printed rocket engine.
Does this make sense? What particular engine (printed on a 3D printer) can be considered optimal for an orbiting rocket? By the combination of all characteristics.
 
Jan 27, 2020
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34
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Now we see the active development of the space sector. News about some records comes out every week. Most of these records are, of course, relative.
In 2019, SLM Solutions announced that they have produced the largest 3D printed rocket engine.
Does this make sense? What particular engine (printed on a 3D printer) can be considered optimal for an orbiting rocket? By the combination of all characteristics.

Tommy Jo:

You hit the nail on the head when you said - "... can be considered optimal for an orbiting rocket? By the combination of all characteristics."

The types of rockets vary by design, by crew size, by trip duration, fuel, by planned use, by payload, by any number of criteria. Are you going to Jupiter from Earth orbit, to Saturn from Earth's moon or are you going to Proxima Centauri from a Jovian LaGrange Point?

Space craft, in turn, may be powered by solid propellants, liquid fuels, nuclear energy, plasma, electric, thermal and by the solar sail system. Hence, a wide variety of propulsion types are available.

I hope the following helps to flesh out the types of propulsion systems available to you.

rocket motors.jpg


non-chem propulsion.jpg

In addition to the previous article on the Skyrora Company's 3D printing of a rocket engine for their SkyroraXL, which uses reduced plastic as a fuel called Ecosene, NASA engineers have also recently tested a 3D printed rocket part, named pogo accumulator, for their proposed SLS or Space Launch System, a small piece of hardware that absorbs the shock by regulating liquid oxygen movement in the engine. It damps the vibrations that can destabilize flight.

Printing pogo accumulator rather than manufacturing it, is actually a cost effective approach. By 3D printing the hardware, over 100 welds were eliminated, decreasing production time by 80% and cost by 35%. The hardware performed as per the expectations, and it also opened the possibilities for more modules scheduled for future tests.

Since each weld requires inspection and possible corrections, the reduction in the number of welds reduces the points of possible failure, labor and material costs. It also makes the engine hardware more reliable, the manufacturing process more lean and efficient and simplifies the supply chain while also reducing bottlenecks in the physical flow of materials.

See: https://aerospace.csis.org/data/space-launch-to-low-earth-orbit-how-much-does-it-cost/
See: https://www.rankred.com/nasa-testing-3d-printed-rocket-parts/
See: https://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/travelinginspace/future_propulsion.html
See: http://propulsion-skrishnan.com/pdf/Classification of Propulsion Systems.pdf

Hartmann352
 
Dec 16, 2020
15
1
35
Tommy Jo:

You hit the nail on the head when you said - "... can be considered optimal for an orbiting rocket? By the combination of all characteristics."

The types of rockets vary by design, by crew size, by trip duration, fuel, by planned use, by payload, by any number of criteria. Are you going to Jupiter from Earth orbit, to Saturn from Earth's moon or are you going to Proxima Centauri from a Jovian LaGrange Point?

Space craft, in turn, may be powered by solid propellants, liquid fuels, nuclear energy, plasma, electric, thermal and by the solar sail system. Hence, a wide variety of propulsion types are available.

I hope the following helps to flesh out the types of propulsion systems available to you.

View attachment 805


View attachment 806

In addition to the previous article on the Skyrora Company's 3D printing of a rocket engine for their SkyroraXL, which uses reduced plastic as a fuel called Ecosene, NASA engineers have also recently tested a 3D printed rocket part, named pogo accumulator, for their proposed SLS or Space Launch System, a small piece of hardware that absorbs the shock by regulating liquid oxygen movement in the engine. It damps the vibrations that can destabilize flight.

Printing pogo accumulator rather than manufacturing it, is actually a cost effective approach. By 3D printing the hardware, over 100 welds were eliminated, decreasing production time by 80% and cost by 35%. The hardware performed as per the expectations, and it also opened the possibilities for more modules scheduled for future tests.

Since each weld requires inspection and possible corrections, the reduction in the number of welds reduces the points of possible failure, labor and material costs. It also makes the engine hardware more reliable, the manufacturing process more lean and efficient and simplifies the supply chain while also reducing bottlenecks in the physical flow of materials.

See: https://aerospace.csis.org/data/space-launch-to-low-earth-orbit-how-much-does-it-cost/
See: https://www.rankred.com/nasa-testing-3d-printed-rocket-parts/
See: https://www.nasa.gov/vision/space/travelinginspace/future_propulsion.html
See: http://propulsion-skrishnan.com/pdf/Classification of Propulsion Systems.pdf

Hartmann352
A press release from Skyrora (which you mentioned) states that their Skyprint 1 printer has the ability to print from multiple materials.
There is a small description here https://www.skyrora.com/additive.
And this feature is indicated as an advantage. Is it really an advantage?
 

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