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Aerojet Rocketdyne’s AR1 Engine Passes Design Review

By Caleb Henry | December 21, 2015
      AR1 engine Aerojet

      An AR1 engine model. Photo: Aerojet Rocketdyne

      [Via Satellite 12-21-2015] Aerojet Rocketdyne has completed a design review for the AR1 engine, which is under development as an alternative to the Russian-built RD-180 engine used to power the Atlas 5 rocket. During the design review, each of the 18 components and subsystems on the AR1 engine were thoroughly analyzed to ensure that each works properly and that once integrated, will function together seamlessly. With this review successfully completed, the company will continue with AR1 development in preparation for full-scale engine testing in 2017, and delivery of a flight-qualified engine ready for certification by 2019.

      To date, AR1 has undergone more than 155 staged-combustion tests, built and successfully hot-fire tested additively manufactured components, conducted turbomachinery and valve tests, and began procurements for long-lead items. The engine uses liquid oxygen and kerosene propellants with an advanced oxidizer-rich staged combustion cycle to generate 500,000 pounds of thrust. A set of two AR1 engines can generate 1 million pounds of thrust for the Atlas 5 launch vehicle. Aerojet Rocketdyne is also developing the AR1 to be configurable to multiple launch vehicles, including the proposed Vulcan launch system and other launch vehicles in development.