Questions tagged [aerospike]

Aerospikes are rocket engines that don't make use of common bell-nozzles. They can maintain a high efficiency at any altitude, as their expansion ratio is constant over altitudes. The design, however, leads to higher complexity and heat - reasons why they are not currently used in any rocket on the market.

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Why do we see performance drop in the aerospike engine in Mach 1 to Mach 3 speed?

While reading about aerospike engine here https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/x-33/aero_faq.htm I read that (Question 11 in the FAQ) due to the slipstream turning into the nozzle region we ...
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Aerospike calculator software doesn't seem to altitude-compensate - am I misunderstanding aerospikes?

I'm using mvernacc's Aerospike Nozzle Design GUI, which is supposed to be able to design and predict the performance of aerospike rocket engines. The workings of the software are apparently based on ...
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Aerospike with solid fuel

I was scrolling in youtube and I saw this awesome video and I think, if we put an aerospike nozzle in a sounding rocket,or even a small orbital rocket, as a first stage solid booster, this type of ...
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What methods have been used to cool aerospikes on paper and in reality?

I am doing a research project and need to mention what methods have been used to cool aerospikes (toroidal is the brute of the paper but I suppose methods for cooking toroidal Aerospikes could apply ...
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Cooling an aerospike spike via “fuel diversion”?

My question is, could an aerospike be cooled via diverting a very small quantity of your fuel (fuel used since it has a higher heat capacity than oxidizer and won't, you know, turn your engine into an ...
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Atmospheric retro-propulsion performance of aerospike nozzles?

I’m thinking about the use of single toroidal aerospike engine for a reusable upper stage with propulsive landing capability and this question came to mind. Do aerospike nozzles even capable of retro ...
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How do toroidal and linear aerospike nozzles compare?

What are the pro's and con's of toroidal and linear aerospike engines with respect to each other? When does one choose one design over the other? A linear aerospike is characterized by multiple ...
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Potential improvement to BFR or New Glenn if equipped with aerospike exhaust on their engines?

Aerospikes basically tackle the issue of the variability in required expansion ratio for a rocket engine to be efficient at a given altitude. A recent example though mired in legal issues is a small ...
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Does the entirety of the efficiency of an aerospike engine occur in the lower atmosphere, or are the advantages in a vacuum as well?

I mean, it's called an aerospike engine for a reason, I guess, but are there any other advantages to the engine that accrue in space? Is the bell configuration better in a vacuum?
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What fire will Firefly fly, and when? (update/clarification on planned launch vehicle)

This answer from 2017-Dec-03 says: Firefly Aerospace will use an (annular) aerospike engine with their Alpha rocket. They have a planned launch in 2018. The linked Wikipedia article shows this (...
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From a strictly engineering standpoint, would Venturestar have worked as an SSTO?

In looking at the questions here and here, I'm wondering - was the VentureStar platform doomed from the start (in ways nobody could foresee), or was it only the cooling problems with aerospike engines ...