Wed, Jun 27, 2012
Nine Of The Engines Power The Falcon 9 Rocket
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) announces that its Merlin 1D engine has achieved a full mission duration firing and multiple restarts at target thrust and specific impulse (Isp). The engine firing was for 185 seconds with 147,000 pounds of thrust, the full duration and power required for a Falcon 9 rocket launch. The tests took place at SpaceX's rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas.
"This is another important milestone in our efforts to push the boundaries of space technology,” said SpaceX CEO and Chief Designer Elon Musk. “With the Merlin 1D powering the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, SpaceX will be capable of carrying a full range of payloads to orbit.”
The Merlin 1D builds on the proven technology of the Merlin engines used on the first three flights of Falcon 9, including the recent historic mission to the International Space Station. With nine Merlins on the first stage, the Falcon 9 rocket will produce nearly 1.5 million pounds of thrust in a vacuum. An enhanced design makes the Merlin 1D the most efficient booster engine ever built, with a vacuum thrust-to-weight ratio exceeding 150, while still maintaining the structural and thermal safety margins needed to carry astronauts.
Additionally, as SpaceX continues to fulfill an extensive manifest of launches, the new engine is designed for improved manufacturability by using higher efficiency processes, increased robotic construction and reduced parts count.
The Merlin 1D engines will first see flight on Falcon 9 Flight 6, expected to launch in 2013. (Image provided by SpaceX)
Vicious Campaign Against Skydiving Operation By Small, But Vocal, Group Loses Court Case News/Analysis by ANN CEO/Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell Those of us who work and play in the>[...]
Also: Air Power Museum, ANN Could Use A Little Help From Its Friends, GE Honda, Mexican-Registry TBM 900, Legacy 500, BBJ Winglets, Wheels Up Order The new Falcon 5X is getting clo>[...]
Progress Continues To Be Made To Return Humanity To The Moon XPRIZE and Google have officially confirmed a further extension of the $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE. XPRIZE notes th>[...]
“It is the Sikorsky Innovations charter to identify the toughest challenges in vertical flight, and to demonstrate solutions to them. Getting an all-new aircraft into flight,>[...]
CoAxial Helo Heralds Development Of Exciting New Rotorcraft We knew it was close... and now it's real. Sikorsky has confirmed the successful first flight of the S-97 RAIDER helicop>[...]