XCOR, ULA sign contract for liquid hydrogen engine development

  • 01-Apr-2011 02:30 EDT
PRN17-XCOR-AEROSPACE-LYNX-5K18-1yHigh.jpg

United Launch Alliance (ULA) and XCOR Aerospace recently conducted hot-fire demonstrations of a lighter-weight, lower-cost approach to liquid-fueled rocket-engine vacuum nozzles.

Based on the results of a successful technology demonstration, United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced a larger follow-on program with XCOR Aerospace to develop a liquid oxygen (LOX)/LH2 engine. Conceived as a lower-cost, risk-managed program compared to traditional engine development efforts, the multiyear project's main objective is to produce a flight-ready LOX/LH2 upper-stage engine in the 25,000- to 30,000-lb thrust class that costs significantly less to produce and is easier to operate and integrate than competing engine technologies. If successful, the effort will lead to significantly lower-cost and more-capable commercial and U.S. government space flights delivered by ULA. The companies structured their LOX/LH2 engine development program with multiple "go/no-go" decision points and performance milestones to ensure a cost-effective and risk-managed approach to this effort.

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