Some "Air-Breathing-Rocket" PR
Does any of this mean anything?
FYI, or not.
Media Relations Office
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL 35812
For Release: Nov. 6, 1998
Air-breathing Rocket Engine Tests Successfully Completed
NASA has successfully completed two years of testing radical, new rocket
engines that could change the future of space travel. NASA and its industry
partners have ground tested rocket engines that "breathe" oxygen from the
"Air-breathing rocket engine technologies have the potential of opening the
space frontier to ordinary folks," said Uwe Hueter of NASA's Marshall Space
Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "We've proven the technologies on the
ground with extensive testing of complex and technically challenging system
components. Now, I believe we're ready to demonstrate the technologies in
Air-breathing rocket engines could make future space travel like today's
travel, said Hueter, manager of NASA's Advanced Reusable Technologies
The spacecraft would be completely reusable, take off and land at airport
runways, and be ready to fly again within days.
An air-breathing rocket engine inhales oxygen from the air for about half
flight, so it doesn't have to store the gas onboard. So at take-off, an
breathing rocket weighs much less than a conventional rocket, which carries
all of its fuel and oxygen onboard. Getting off the ground is the most
expensive part of any mission to low-Earth orbit, and reducing a vehicle's
weight decreases cost significantly.
An air-breathing engine (called a rocket-based, combined cycle engine) gets
its initial take-off power from specially designed rockets, called air-
augmented rockets, that boost performance about 15 percent over
rockets. When the vehicle's velocity reaches twice the speed of sound, the
rockets are turned off and the engine relies totally on oxygen in the
atmosphere to burn the hydrogen fuel. Once the vehicle's speed increases to
about 10 times the speed of sound, the engine converts to a conventional
rocket-powered system to propel the vehicle into orbit.
This unconventional approach to getting to space is one of the technologies
NASA's Advanced Space Transportation Program at the Marshall Center is
developing to make space transportation affordable for everyone from
travelers to tourists. NASA's goal is to reduce launch costs from today's
price tag of $10,000 per pound to only hundreds of dollars per pound.
GASL, a small aerospace company in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., has conducted most of
the air-breathing rocket engine testing at its facilities on Long Island.
GASL's unique facility is capable of testing across a wide range of speeds
and modes the rocket engine must achieve in flight.
NASA's industry partners in developing air-breathing rocket technologies
Aerojet Corp. of Sacramento, Calif.; Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif.;
Astrox Corp. of Rockville, Md.; Pennsylvania State University of University
Park; and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
- end -
Note to Editors: Interviews, photos and video supporting this release are
available to media representatives by contacting June Malone, Media
Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, (256) 544-0034. For an electronic
version of this release, photos, QuickTime movie or more information, visit
Marshall's new Virtual NewsRoom: http://www.msfc.nasa.gov/news
For more information on the Advanced Space Transportation Program, visit
Web site: http://stp.msfc.nasa.gov
"Beware of the man of one book."
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it. Once
realized, it becomes commanplace."
"Space is a place not a program."
"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."
Re: Some "Air-Breathing-Rocket" PR
From: Mark Reiff <markreiff@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Re: Some "Air-Breathing-Rocket" PR
From: Sam Coniglio <spaceman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>