Kestrel (rocket engine)


Kestrel (rocket engine)

infobox rocket engine


imsize=140
caption=SpaceX Kestrel
name=Kestrel 2
country_of_origin=United States
manufacturer=SpaceX
purpose=

type=liquid
fuel=RP-1 rocket grade
oxidiser=LOX
thrust(Vac)= convert|6900|lbf|kN
specific_impulse_vacuum= 317 s (3.1 km/s)
chamber_pressure= convert|135|psi|kPa
thrust_to_weight=
cycle=pressure fed
references = [ cite news |url=http://www.spacex.com/Falcon1UsersGuide.pdf |title=Falcon 1 Users Guide |date=2008-09-28 |publisher=SpaceX]
The Kestrel engine is an RP-1/liquid oxygen pressure-fed rocket engine. The Kestrel engine was developed by SpaceX for upper stage use on the Falcon 1 rocket.

Kestrel was built around the same pintle architecture as the Space X Merlin engine but does not have a turbo-pump and is fed only by tank pressure.

Kestrel is ablatively cooled in the chamber and throat and radiatively cooled in the nozzle, which is fabricated from a high strength niobium alloy. As a metal, niobium is highly resistant to cracking compared to carbon-carbon. According to SpaceX, an impact from orbital debris or during stage separation might dent the metal but have no meaningful effect on engine performance. [ cite news |url=http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/SpaceX_Confirms_Stage_Bump_On_Demoflight_2_999.html | title=SpaceX Confirms Stage Bump On Demoflight 2 | author = Greg Zsidisin | date = 23 March 2007 | publisher = Space Daily |accessdate=2008-09-30] Helium pressurant efficiency is substantially increased via a titanium heat exchanger on the ablative/niobium boundary. [cite web |url=http://www.spacex.com/SpaceX_F1-003_PressKit.pdf |publisher=SpaceX |title=Falcon 1 Flight Three Press Kit |accessdate=2008-09-30]

Thrust vector control is provided by electro-mechanical actuators on the engine dome for pitch and yaw. Roll control (and attitude control during coast phases) is provided by helium cold gas thrusters.

A TEA-TEB pyrophoric system is used to provide multiple restart capability on the upper stage. In a multi-manifested mission, this allows for drop off at different altitudes and inclinations.

Kestrel 2

Enhancements to the design of the original Kestrel engine are planned. Changes will include tighter tolerances to improve consistency, higher Isp, and lighter weight. [cite web
last = Bergin
first = Chris
authorlink =
coauthors = Braddock Gaskill
title = Elon Musk Q and A - Updates SpaceX status on Falcon and Dragon
work =
publisher = NASAspaceflight.com
date = 2007-09-24
url = http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5237
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2008-06-16
]

ee also

*Merlin (rocket engine)

References

External links

* [http://www.spacex.com/falcon1.php#kestrel_engine SpaceX Falcon engines page]

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