langue en Rocket Lab - 03/05/2019

Rocket Labs Rutherford Engine Qualified for Flight

April, 2016

The 5,000 lbf Rutherford engine was created by Rocket Lab specifically for the companys Electron launch vehicle. Rutherford has been tested extensively for over two years, and was qualified for flight after completing more than two hundred engine hot fires.

The qualification of the engine is a major milestone for 3D printing; Rutherford is the first oxygen/hydrocarbon engine to use additive manufacturing for all primary components of the combustor and propellant supply system. Rutherford also has a unique electric propulsion cycle, making use of high-performance brushless DC electric motors and lithium polymer batteries to drive its turbopumps.