Haot said that, under current schedules, their vehicle will make a first test flight in 2025 and enter commercial service in 2026. The vehicle has a “conservative” target of placing 300 kilograms into a 200 kilometer orbit.
Haot said he believes that focusing on performance, rather than rushing into the market with another small launch vehicle, is a better strategy. “We have a very long-term view, 10 to 20 years,” he said. “We don’t believe that the people that got there a few years before will be the winners. We believe that the ones operating with the highest margin will be the winner.”
2024 first test flight target. Commercial/profitable by end of 2026.
How do you foresee Rocket-1 competing with a small LV industry populated by mature rockets like Electron/Terran/RS-1/LauncherOne? If Rocket Lab is to be believed, individual Electron missions are priced under $10M *already* and cadence aspirations would bring > economies of scale
Launcher's thesis is that performance-driven design will win over first to market. Same rocket cost and mass -> Less propellant -> more payload -> More revenue potential per launch OR ability to reduce the price to grab market share.
Updated Rocket-1 spec/target below - 775 kg to 200 km. Same total rocket mass. Engine performance target increased, vehicle mass budget and un-used propellant assumptions slightly more aggressive. It might take a few flights to get there.
MILESTONE: Liquid oxygen regenerative cooling proven on our E-1 rocket engine (3D printed in copper alloy). Made by @3TRPD on @EOSNorthAmerica @EOSGmbH M290.LOX cooling benefits include (a) The ability to use both propellants for cooling in E-2 - thereby increasing coolant budget (b) Larger cooling channels making DMLS powder removal easier (c) Improved injector mixing and resulting improved performance thanks to gaseous oxygen.Typical regen cooling uses fuel such as kerosene/RP-1. @NASA and Energia have tested LOX cooling and released papers confirming the benefits - but no known production engine uses it yet.This photo was captured during an oxygen rich transient. It demonstrates the cleaner exhaust of E1-LOXCOOL725 when compared to our previous E-1 version/injector. Video to be released on Monday.
New website update: https://launcherspace.com/Few interesting points:1) They have 4 engines on the first stage and one on the second, all at the same nominal thrust. This is certainly different from the 9/1 ratio you see on the Rocket Lab Electron and SpaceX Falcon 9. This probably explains why the apparent staging ratio seems so off. The vehicle acceleration at SECO has got to be pretty high.2) They continue to share probably more than they should and have published the state-point diagram in both SI and US Customary units.3) They're doing ox-rich stage combustion with an LOx-cooled chamber. Material properties are going to clutch here.4) The two stage fuel pump is pretty uncommon for an RP-1 engine. The second stage only gets 3.5% of the main flow and is primary for the pre-burner with a tapoff leg, probably for trim control or propellant utilization. Normally they would pump up all the fuel to the same pressure and orifice it down. This approach is more efficient, but it does make the turbopump harder.5) Depending on the shaft speed of the pump, the 20 psi inlet pressure is sporty. Same with the 60 psi at -290F (instead of fully saturated at -297F.6) "Licensed orbit-proven liquid oxygen pump design". They're too small for most of the "old space" stuff, and anything from SpaceX and Rocket Lab. "Orbit-proven" nixes Ursa-Major. Maybe something through a partnership with AFRL?With points #4 and #5, combined with the ox-rich turbine, that is a *hard* turbopump, particularly for your first engine. They've done great things with their (subscale) combustor so I don't want to count them out.
This is likely a born out of Ukraine project. The website has grammar and style mistakes indicative of translation although it has been polished a bit so not a machine translation job.
More 💎💎💎🚀. To further reduce the cost of 3D printing our highest performance copper alloy engines - we more than doubled the powder layer thickness and as a result sped up the 3D printing time by more than 2X. Made possible by AMCM and @3t_am_ltd on an @EOSGmbH 3D printer.
In this test last week, we proved that with this new process, we can reach the highest performance mix ratio (2.62) at 98%+ efficiency.
The first public opening to join the @launcher team: Propulsion Test Engineer to help us build and test the Launcher E-2 liquid 🚀 engine. Apply: linkedin.com/jobs/view/1645… #propulsion
ANNOUNCEMENT: Launcher has signed a Space Act Agreement with @NASAStennis to locate our full-scale test fire facility at Stennis. The first campaign is expected this summer as part of our @AF_SBIR_STTR contract to test-fire our 22k lbf thrust E-2 engine.
The test stand frame for Launcher E-2 is ready to be powder coated. Thanks to our partner millermetal.com for their great work.
https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1250149968754638848Quote ANNOUNCEMENT: Launcher has signed a Space Act Agreement with @NASAStennis to locate our full-scale test fire facility at Stennis. The first campaign is expected this summer as part of our @AF_SBIR_STTR contract to test-fire our 22k lbf thrust E-2 engine.
What are those blocks they're using for blast protection?
Launcher E-2 - the world largest single part 3D printed combustion chamber is ready for nitrogen, liquid nitrogen and water cleaning followed by a water cold flow session.
This week we have also started the E-2 🚀 engine combustion chamber and injector heat treatment processes at our partner Accurate Brazing (accuratebrazing.com). Step 1: Stress relief in a vacuum furnace. Next : Cut the chamber off the plate by wire edm followed by HIP.
The Launcher E-2 3D printed 🚀 engine combustion chamber is back home at @Newlab - Next steps: complete taps with @FlexArmInc, machining the flange, cooling channels chemical etching and polishing the inner wall.