View Full Version : Discussion: Kerosene Engine Passes Design ...

2003-Jul-21, 05:57 PM
SUMMARY: NASA is working on several next-generation propulsion concepts that could help to push future exploration of the solar system, and one of the furthest along is the RS-84 kerosene-fueled rocket engine. The RS-84 is being designed by the Rocketdyne division of Boeing and it recently passed a detailed technical design review. The final, full-scale prototype engine should be ready for testing in 2007. Kerosene is more compact than traditional hydrogen fuel, saving launch weight, and it's much safer to handle.

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Ray Bauernhuber
2003-Jul-21, 11:25 PM
[I]Kerosene? I recently read that environmentalists want kerosene burning vehicles to tighten up their emission controls because the kerosene is a terrible pollutant to our atmosphere.

Now, I am not a scientist but it seems that NASA is going backwards in rocket propulsion. If something starts to leak we now pollute space as well as our Earth's atmosphere.

How about clear solar power. Can't NASA's brain trust develop a next generation propulsion system?

Anyone with knowledge of what I am speaking please comment. I may be all wrong but it's the way I am thinking about this.[I][COLOR=blue][I][COLOR=blue]

2003-Jul-22, 01:38 AM
No, Ray, NASA can't "brain-trust" a solar-powered surface-to-orbit vehicle. Its just not in the cards. :huh:

As far as kerosene goes, what are they going to use for oxidizer? RFNA maybe???? :P

And they call this NEW technology??? Just what did the VfR use for fuel - gasoline, I think... And Robert Goddard? :(

Now maybe a megapound thrust version is new, but I bet that we could have designed, built, and tested same back in the 70's. Lets hope they do a better job with this one than they did with the SSME's. :angry:

2003-Jul-22, 02:17 AM

I was surprised to see that we were working on kerosene rocket engines. I know that all the Soviet rockets were kerosene-powered and NASA at the time considered them kinda clunky and old-fashioned. But there is less chance of an explosion if something goes wrong.

As far as being pollution, I have no idea. Maybe that's what they're working on... to make an engine that is more efficient than other kerosene burners.

2003-Jul-22, 02:31 AM
OF COURSE we're working on kerosene engines. The SSME's are DOGS. Of course, they DO deliver the most thrust per pound going, but otherwise they aren't worth it. Each and every one of them has to be re-asssembled for each and every mission. It is something of a misnomer to refer to "an engine". What we have is a collection of parts, out of which we assemble an engine (or three) as required for each and every mission. Upon return they are broken down again so that they can be inspected. Read Dick Feinman's critique of NASA after the Challenger disaster. Do you really think things have changed in the interim? Hardly... NASA brass killed the Challenger crew, and now they've done it again. Just how long are we going to let these politically well-connected recta run the space program?

2003-Jul-22, 06:46 AM
Regarding pollution, I don't see the rockets being used all that often, so the amount of additional pollution they create would be minimal, and give safety benefits.