Aerojet Rocketdyne announced Tuesday it had completed the first of a series of “hot fire” tests on a key component of the US Air Force’s Hydrocarbon Boost Technology Demonstrator (HBTD) program. Over the next few months multiple injector configurations of the sub-scale oxygen pre-burner will undergo testing to evaluate the stability and performance parameters required for a high-performing and reliable liquid oxygen/kerosene rocket engine. The tests will aid the design and development of both the pre-burner and the complete rocket engine. “We are looking forward to what more we will learn during the hot fire test series,” said Joe Burnett, company HBTD program manager. The program is under the direction of the Air Force Research Laboratory, as part of the Rocket Propulsion for the 21st Century program. Known as the Integrated High Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technology, the effort is designed to create a motor that generates 250,000 pounds of thrust, made with modern materials and technology, and is reusable—capable of powering up to 100 flights. The data from the testing program will be used by other USAF development programs, such as the advance liquid rocket engine stability tools program, according to the company.
The White House announced its United States Space Priorities Framework in a document released concurrently with Vice President Kamala Harris' first National Space Council meeting. Listed among five U.S. priorities is to “defend its national security interests from the growing scope and scale of space and counterspace threats.”