Space Shuttle main engine product improvementThe current design of the Space Shuttle Main Engine has passed 11 certification cycles, amassed approximately a quarter million seconds of engine test time in 1200 tests and successfully launched the Space Shuttle 17 times of 51 engine launches through May 1985. Building on this extensive background, two development programs are underway at Rocketdyne to improve the flow of hot gas through the powerhead and evaluate the changes to increase the performance margins in the engine. These two programs, called Phase II+ and Technology Test Bed Precursor program are described. Phase II+ develops a two-tube hot-gas manifold that improves the component environment. The Precursor program will evaluate a larger throat main combustion chamber, conduct combustion stability testing of a baffleless main injector, fabricate an experimental weld-free heat exchanger tube, fabricate and test a high pressure oxidizer turbopump with an improved inlet, and develop and test methods for reducing temperature transients at start and shutdown.
Lucci, A. D. (Rockwell International Corp. Canoga Park, CA, United States)
Klatt, F. P. (Rockwell International Corp. Rocketdyne Div., Canoga Park, CA, United States)