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Starchaser - New Hybrid Thruster

Published by Rob on Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:31 pm
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Work on the next hybrid test engine is now complete and test firings will be conducted shortly. This engine has been scaled up to nearly three times the thrust of the initial hybrid test thruster, to produce around 64 Kg (628 Newtons) of thrust.

Running on HTP (High Test Peroxide) as the oxidiser (which is now being produced in our mobile production lab), and HTPB (Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene) as the solid fuel, this engine will test the system that will be used to complete the Launch Escape System rocket for Starchaser 5 / Thunderstar.

The main objective for this series of firings is to test a new silver plated catalyst used to decompose the peroxide into super heated steam and oxygen. If successful, the temperatures reached in this decomposition will be sufficient to ignite the solid rubber fuel without the need for an ignition system. All the parameters of this engine (mass flows, pressures, catalyst loadings etc) have been scaled to be identical to those which will be used on the larger 1000 Kg engine. If these tests work then the team will have greater confidence that the system will work when scaled up to the full size engine.

These tests will be conducted over the next 2-3 weeks and should be complete before our move to the new premises.

Visit the Starchaser site at http://www.starchaser.co.uk

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