Raptor has been claimed to be able to deliver "long life ... and more benign turbine environments".


The Raptor has hot oxygen flowing out of the oxidizer preburner. This limits material choices to avoid severe oxidation. How and compared to what does that deliver a more benign turbine environment?

  • $\begingroup$ The full quote is from Gwynne Shotwell testifying to Congress in 2015. See page 14. It isn't immediately clear to me if she might be comparing it to the RD-180 or the Merlin or both. "The engine utilizes a full flow staged combustion cycle, promising the highest performance possible for a methane rocket engine, while also delivering long life through new SpaceX technologies and more benign turbine environments." $\endgroup$
    – Erin Anne
    May 14, 2023 at 9:01

1 Answer 1


For the same amount of pre-turbine combustion, the gasses in a full flow turbine are much cooler and higher volume than those with a partial flow. Both of these mean the tolerances in the turbo can be a little more relaxed, without losing as much performance.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for this information? $\endgroup$ May 14, 2023 at 13:13

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