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I am fasinated by Aerojet. The CECE, has a total qualified burn time of 10,000 seconds and with a total of 50 restarts. The LOX/LH2 engines have a great performance with a specific impulse of > 445.

Additional questions include: 1) Is the RL10B-2 used as a testbed for the CECE? Are the CECE, physical dimension the same as the as the RL10B-2?

2) Do the engines have gimble capability?

CECE by Aerojet

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  • $\begingroup$ I think you'd benefit from being a little more specific in your question - that is, outperform how? Thrust? Isp? Cost? $\endgroup$ – Snoopy Feb 9 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ Note that the Aerojet page says "human ratable" not human-rated, which I think means "we'll get it human-rated if you pay us enough". As far as I know, humans have never flown on an RL10. $\endgroup$ – Russell Borogove Feb 9 at 3:18
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Upper stage engines used or planned for human cargo:

  • RL10 / Atlas 5 & ICPS & EUS / Good performance (Isp > 400)
  • RD-110 / Soyuz / OK performance (Isp > 300)
  • Merlin / Falcon / OK performance (Isp > 300)
  • YF-25 / Long March / Poor performance (Isp > 200)

(I probably forgot something)

(Source Wikipedia various)

The CECE testbed seems to have been assembled as a FrankenRocket out of a bunch of different RL10 parts. You can read about it here. It is approximately the same size as an RL10, using the same nozzle.

enter image description here

When CECE was intended for the Altair lunar landing vehicle, it was going to have gimbal (TVC) capability. You can read an impressive level of detail about the proposed TVC system in this paper.

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Supplemental to Organic Marble's answer:

Additional questions include: 1) Is the RL10B-2 used as a testbed for the CECE? Are the CECE, physical dimension the same as the as the RL10B-2?

The RL10B-2 uses an 2-piece extensible sliding nozzle to get an extremely high nozzle expansion ratio of 280:1 and consequent specific impulse of 465 seconds. The CECE uses a more modest one-piece nozzle. Wikipedia gives the dimensions of the RL10B-2 as 4.15m length (when extended), 2.15m diameter; the CECE is (again according to WP) 1.53 m in length, shorter than most variants of the RL10, but as it's the demonstrator version, it may be using a short nozzle for testing in-atmosphere, and it might get a larger nozzle for production.

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