Venus Aerospace Partners With Nasa’s Marshall Space Flight Center On New Engine Technology

Venus Aerospace's engine injector was the highest-performing and sustained the longest detonation engine run of the entire test campaign, operating for 4 minutes of hotfire testing.

HOUSTON, Jan. 8, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Venus Aerospace, a hypersonics leader developing reusable hypersonic flight platforms, has partnered with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to achieve one of the longest sustained tests of a rotating detonation rocket engine. Venus designs and manufactures hypersonic engines and aircraft for research, defense, and commercial missions.

The goal of this partnership was to test RDREs (Rotating Detonation Rocket Engines) in a flight-like manner. The engine injector that Venus Aerospace designed and provided was the highest performing and sustained the longest detonation engine run of the entire campaign. Using a regeneratively-cooled RDRE architecture, the engine successfully operated for 4 minutes of hotfire testing. This is a significant milestone given most engine tests of this type last for only 1-2 seconds. This long-duration hotfire means RDRE’s have retired a major risk area and are able to move into the few remaining steps before a flight demonstration.

“Venus believes strongly in the performance step-change that RDREs bring for both hypersonic and space applications. The partnership with NASA has been key in maturing this new technology” says Dr. Andrew Duggleby, CTO and co-founder of Venus Aerospace.

This partnership with NASA will accelerate Venus’s research and development, thus allowing for proven scalability of its technology and advancing the team’s mission to unlock the hypersonic economy. NASA and Venus both work independently, collaborating on special projects to strengthen their respective research and development.

NASA is considering using RDREs for in-space applications such as lunar and martian landers, in-space operations and logistics, and other deep space missions. Because RDREs are much smaller and more efficient than traditional rocket engines and can be easily configured for hypersonic vehicles, Venus’ capabilities are uniquely versatile.

Venus has entered into a second year contract with NASA to provide engine parts for research and development of NASA’s RDRE. In year two, NASA, with Venus’s support, will test different propellant combinations on hardware, to operate at even higher thrust levels and to demonstrate efficiency gains promised by the detonation engine. This will help Venus expand its knowledge base and move technology onto flight vehicles.

About Venus Aerospace
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Venus Aerospace is a startup aerospace company focused on engineering the future of hypersonic flight. An expert team of PhD’s, rocket scientists, and engineers taking on the biggest challenges in aerospace at Mach 9 speed, Venus is making one-hour global transport possible to connect the world and make it safer.

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