Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $21 million contract from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to continue developing an engine for next-generation reusable space launch and transportation vehicles.
The contract calls for Northrop Grumman to continue its work on the TR107, a liquid oxygen/kerosene reusable engine, which operates on an oxidiser-rich staged combustion cycle and is capable of generating one-million-pounds of thrust.
Under this 18-month contract, engine components will be subjected to hot fire testing to demonstrate technology developments.
Technologies to be incorporated into the TR107 include a duct-cooled main chamber, a pre-burner pintle injector and materials that do not require coatings for the oxidiser-rich environment.
According to Northrop Grumman, the TR107 provides high performance with a robust design that minimises the parts count for greater reliability and operability. The TR107 is also said to minimise the power head operating pressures to increase engine life.
The TR107 has been under development for two years under an earlier phase of NASA’s Space Launch Initiative (SLI) program.