Author Topic: Launcher Space: General Company and Development Updates and Discussions  (Read 53121 times)

Online gongora

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Launcher moves on to develop avionics for its satellite delivery system
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Now the company is ready to move on to the next stage: avionics, and to do so, having established a valid and credible proposition, it was able to attract NASA JPL & SpaceX veterans Kevin Watson and Rich Petras.

https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1275480524610514947?s=20

That's the last tweet in a thread from the Launcher twitter page. Basically, they've made a public launch-vehicle calculator, very similar to Silverbird; my guess is someone got board during quarantine, although they have a lot of justification for it in the thread.

Interestingly, in the "Select Rocket" menu, there are a number of notional Launcher rockets aside from Rocket-1, including "Launcher XL", with 9 E-2's on the first stage, "Launcher Light", with a single E-2 on the first stage, and "Launcher Nano", which would be the smallest orbital rocket ever. The XL would put 2 metric tons into a 200 km orbit, the light would put 149 kg into the same orbit, and the Nano would put up merely 1.2 kg.

Interestingly, the default launch site is Wallops, which perhaps suggests that's where they think they'll be launching from?

Of course, there's a lot of stuff we could read into here that should probably be taken with a grain of salt. I don't think they're actually considering building any rocket but Rocket-1. It's interesting that they've thought about it though.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2020 11:30 pm by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline edzieba

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Are all those propellant ports NPT? I'm estimating they're about 2" NPT. In the photo where it's still copper, they've got NPT to Quick-Clamp flanges (like these on McMaster-Carr).
Looks like they are indeed NPT. Source is an unusual one: you can watch the adapter for the tap being machined here (along with a 3D view of the tapping jig): https://youtube.com/watch?v=me9n5830t74

I do agree it's odd they'd choose NPT when they have the choice of literally every other thread-form.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1285955341503651840

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Launcher’s first ever E-2 🚀 engine turbo pump hardware arrived. 3D printed in Inconel 718 on @Velo_3D machine by @Protolabs 🙏. Discharge pressure of 4,130 psi (285 bar) for oxidizer rich staged combustion. Design heritage licensed by Launcher and proven 70+ times to orbit.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/spaceintellige3/status/1303794049242062849

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Successful test of our E-2 🚀 engine igniter - an important milestone in preparation to our E-2 test campaign.

twitter.com/launcher/status/1303659178645430276

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A challenging design as our GOX/Kerosene igniter nozzle reaches nearly 1,800F while traversing our liquid oxygen dome. This test proved that we could run the igniter for five seconds, while having 1,200psi liquid oxygen in the dome (behind this mockup injector plate shown)

https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1303659179605925894

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We were happy to confirm during repeated tests that no oxygen/heat/pressure related explosion occurred.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1306004614794350593

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Launcher E-2 3D printed copper alloy combustion chamber polishing done ✅. One step closer to its first test fire 🔥 🚀. Next step - shipping to @NASAStennis

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1309158126789300224

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Launcher E-2 liquid 🚀 engine thrust chamber assembly in position at @nasastennis. Getting ready for LN2 cold flow tomorrow morning. E-2 is the world’s largest single-part 3D printed combustion chamber.

https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1309167639307182082?s=20

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ORSC but this first test campaign is pressure fed.

I guess they want to test the combustion chamber before they assemble the whole engine, so they're just pressure feeding propellent for the initial tests.
« Last Edit: 09/25/2020 06:42 am by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1309617154954756096

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Launcher E-2 test stand activation and LN2 cold flow testing started today at @NASAStennis . We can’t wait for the 🔥version.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1311461603544428545

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Launcher E-2 - 22.000-lbf thrust 3D printed liquid 🚀 engine (kerolox). Fully plumbed on its test stand at @nasastennis. Actual first stage nozzle size and expansion ratio. Test fire getting very close.

Offline LouScheffer

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[...] They continue to share probably more than they should and have published the state-point diagram [...]
This is, to my mind, an incorrect (but very common) attitude.  The problem is not that someone will steal your idea, the problem is convincing people your idea is good.

Pretty much every group that has the competence to build an oxygen-rich staged-combustion engine also has their own opinion on how this should be done.  Furthermore, they think their way is best - that's why they chose it.  They won't change their design based on looking at anyone else's - at most they will rationalize why theirs is better, if they consider it at all.

Similarly, I rail against this attitude in science all the time.  Folks sit on their data until they have squeezed every bit of interpretation out of it, worried that someone else will see their data, make some major discovery, and rush it into publication before the original experimenter.  This particular paranoid fantasy is normally expressed in terms of a grad student having his work ninja'd just as s/he is about to submit their thesis.  However, in reality, anyone with the skill and means to analyze a complex data set is already doing so on their own data, and is not going to drop that to work on yours. 

We've seen with COVID how fast research can go when every group publishes whatever they know as soon as they know it.  And despite this avalanche of preliminary data, almost no-one has gotten "scooped" by someone else analyzing their data faster than they can.  This makes perfect sense since the original source group is also analyzing as fast as possible.

So overall, I have no worries about Launcher Space publishing.  It will help them far more by establishing credibility than it will hurt them by someone stealing their secrets.


Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline Davidthefat

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Keep in mind the engine cycle they are running; they need a gas at the oxidizer inlet of the main injector (usually downstream of the turbine from the preburner through the hot gas manifold).

Interesting to see they don't seen to have any variable volume acoustic chambers shown in the heat sink chamber.

Offline playadelmars

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Looks like they got it started. Smoke cloud at end but otherwise good not to hard start for first test.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/maxhaot_launcher-e-2-is-born-at-nasa-national-aeronautics-ugcPost-6723100182549975040-iikH

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1317332635056820226

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Launcher E-2 is born at @NASAStennis - More soon!

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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twitter.com/launcher/status/1317477614014074881

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Photos by @johnkrausphotos of our first ever Launcher E-2 🚀 engine ignition (3 sec ‘burp’) at @NASAStennis yesterday. Great result, the hardware passed the test and is ready for test #2 next week.

https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1317477617436590086

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In the next two weeks, we will build up duration and then replace the heat sink chamber used in this test with the actual world largest 3D printed single piece combustion chamber (with actual flight size nozzle).
« Last Edit: 10/17/2020 02:55 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/launcher/status/1318912157073985537

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Successful Launcher E-2 test #2 (2s burp). Next step: Replace the heat sink chamber with the 3D printed thrust chamber assembly and test. Stay tuned! 🚀🔥

Offline playadelmars

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This is exciting. Anyone know of any other printer copper chambers in testing before this?

Offline Davidthefat

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This is exciting. Anyone know of any other printer copper chambers in testing before this?

Yes, Launcher did put a flame sprayed inconel jacket over a printed copper liner in the previous chamber.

Aerojet Rocketdyne did a redesign of the RL10 (RL10C-X) that included a printed copper chamber. (https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/04/08/1798869/0/en/3-D-Printed-RL10C-X-Prototype-Rocket-Engine-Soars-Through-Initial-Round-of-Testing.html)

NASA Marshall did small scale printed copper chamber tests in collaboration with Virgin Orbit (https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/nasa-and-virgin-orbit-3d-print-multimetallic-chamber-for-rocket-engine-156409/)


I think some universities have tried printed copper chambers, but not sure.
« Last Edit: 10/21/2020 04:19 pm by Davidthefat »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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https://twitter.com/johnkrausphotos/status/1325837736377462788

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A new photo by me for @launcher — The first test fire of the full E-2 thrust chamber assembly, with a flight-sized nozzle, conducted last month at NASA’s Stennis Space Center.

Read + see more in @arstechnica’s feature:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/11/meet-launcher-a-company-building-a-rocket-engine-with-eight-employees/

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Meet Launcher, the rocket engine builder with just eight employees
The company is making progress, completing a series of component tests in October.

by Eric Berger - Nov 9, 2020 2:40pm GMT

Max Haot is not your typical rocket scientist, and Launcher is not your typical rocket company.

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