Rocket startup shows off its 3D-printed rocket engine at maximum power

Launcher has developed and test-fired its 3D-printed rocket engine at the NASA Stennis Space Center at full thrust for 10 seconds.

Published Thu, Apr 28 2022 5:04 AM CDT   |   Updated Fri, May 20 2022 4:32 AM CDT

Private space company Launcher demonstrated its E-2 rocket engine's capabilities on April 21st, 2022.

The E-2 is a "closed cycle 3D-printed, high-performance liquid rocket engine" that Launcher has developed for its Launcher Light launch vehicle, which has its inaugural launch scheduled for 2024. The Launcher Light will reach low-Earth orbit using only one E-2 engine while carrying a payload of 150 kilograms (330 pounds).

The successful test-fire of the engine was conducted at the NASA Stennis Space Center, producing ten metric tons of thrust (22,046 lbf, or pounds of force) and 100 bar (1,450 psi) of combustion pressure. The engine uses liquid oxygen (LOX) and kerosene fuel in a 2.62:1 ratio.

The E-2's combustion chamber is a single piece of 3D-printed copper chromium zirconium alloy (CuCrZr) instead of the typical aerospace-grade copper alloy. To print the chamber, Launcher partnered with AMCM to develop the AMCM M4K 3D printer, a large format (100 x 45 x 45 cm) custom 3D printer.

You can read more from Launcher's press release here.

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Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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