MOJAVE, Calif., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- XCOR Aerospace® today announced it has completed the latest test series for the liquid hydrogen engine it is developing for United Launch Alliance (ULA). This is an important milestone in the long-running LH2 (liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen) program. It is also a step toward running the engine in a fully closed cycle mode.
In its most recent milestone, XCOR successfully performed hot fire testing of the XR-5H25 engine's regeneratively cooled thrust chamber, with both liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants supplied in pump-fed mode, using XCOR's proprietary piston pump technology.
"This test marks the first time liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen have been supplied to a rocket engine with a piston pump," says XCOR Chief Executive Officer Jeff Greason. "It is also the first time an American LH2 engine of this size has successfully fired liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen together in pump-fed mode. We are happy to be making solid progress on the engines. This will also bring us to a new phase in our plans for orbital flight."
"ULA has an ongoing effort to develop rocket engines for our next generation upper stage, and we are thrilled to see that progress continuing with XCOR," added ULA Vice President George Sowers.
Upcoming test series will fully integrate the nozzle with the engine and piston pumps. Fully closed cycle testing will follow soon afterwards and will complete the sub-scale demonstration engine program.
The XR-5H25 engines are being developed under contract to ULA as potential successors to the Delta and Atlas series upper stage engines currently used. These engines will also help power orbital launches.
About XCOR Aerospace: XCOR Aerospace® is based in Mojave, California. It is currently starting to create a new Research and Development Center in Midland, Texas, and an operational and manufacturing site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. XCOR® builds safe, reliable and reusable rocket-powered vehicles, propulsion systems, advanced non-flammable composites and rocket piston pumps. XCOR works with aerospace prime contractors and government customers on major propulsion systems, while also building Lynx®. Lynx is a piloted, two-seat, fully reusable liquid rocket-powered vehicle that takes-off and lands horizontally. The Lynx-family of vehicles serves three primary missions depending on their specific type including: research & scientific missions, private spaceflight, and micro satellite launch (only on Lynx Mark III). Lynx production models (designated Lynx Mark II) are designed to be robust, multi-mission (research / scientific or private spaceflight) commercial vehicles capable of flying to 100+ km in altitude up to four times per day. Lynx vehicles are available to customers in the free world on a wet lease basis to start their own manned space flight program. For more information on XCOR Aerospace, visit www.xcor.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram as XCOR.
United Launch Alliance: With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 85 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system. For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch.
SOURCE XCOR Aerospace