Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed initial testing of a nearly flight-weight and production-ready configuration of its next-generation RL10C-X upper-stage rocket engine that contains major components produced with the company’s industry-leading 3-D printing technology. The successful series of tests confirmed that the 3-D printed components performed as expected when integrated into a complete, full-scale engine system.
3-D printing will reduce lead time by 35-50% and overall engine cost by 25-35%.
The components can withstand high pressures and temperature gradients that range from -423°F to more than 5,000°F.
In 2018, ULA selected Blue Origin’s BE-4 engine over the Aerodyne Rocketjet AR1 engine. Aerojet says it’s committed to completing development of the engine even though ULA is not a customer.
Aerodyne is looking for a partner to develop a medium rocket using the AR1 engine.
Written By Brian Wang