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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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?