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Rocket Engines

Rocket Engines
Vulcain 2
RS 72
300 N

Aestus II / RS 72 Rocket Engine

A turbopump version of the Aestus bipropellant rocket engine.

RS72/Aestus turbopump rocket engine
Aestus RS72 Rocket Engine
A turbopump version of the Aestus pressure-fed engine

The RS 72 rocket engine was a collaborative development between the the propulsion teams of Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne and Airbus DS, Ottobrunn. The RS 72 is a prototype pathfinder engine based on the Aestus thrust chamber and a power pack (turbopump, gas generator, valves, and controls) from the PWR developed XLR-132 engine.

Hot-Fire Tests

Hot-fire testing of the RS-72 Pathfinder engine has been successfully completed at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.


The test success was a milestone in a jointly sponsored development programme to fabricate and test a 55 kN (12,500-pound) thrust pump-fed prototype engine using the storable propellant combination MMH / N2O4.


The 14th and final test of the engine was on 3 May and operated at 100 percent power for 60 seconds.


The combination of Aestus with XLR-132 turbopump provides increased performance, multiple restarts and a design life of 2,500-seconds.


The RS 72 is designed for higher performance, thrust and reliability than competing pressure fed systems using the same propellants, with application on existing, or new and evolved launch vehicles.












Aestus II / RS72 Rocket Engine Characteristics
Propellants MMH / N2O4
Thrust vac 55.4 kN
Power 92,000 kW
125,000 hp
Specific Impulse vac. 340 sec
Propellant mass flow rate 16.5 kg/s
TCA Mixture ratio 2.0
Engine mixture ratio 1.9
Chamber pressure 60 bar
Nozzle area ratio 300
Nozzle diameter 1.3 m
Overall engine length 2.286 m
Mass 138 kg
Mission duty 5 starts/600 s
Engine design life 20 starts/2500 s