NASA has completed an important testing phase for a new propulsion technology called the rotating detonation rocket engine (RDRE) that will make long-distance space travel possible.According to the space agency, this design generates more thrust than a current rocket engine while requiring less fuel. NASA intends to use these new rocket engines for space travel to the moon and Mars.
Unlike a traditional rocket engine, the RDRE works by using the pulsating force of supersonic combustion, which is called detonation. In a normal rocket engine, the residual gases resulting from combustion in the engine are subsonic. However, with the RDRE technology, the byproduct of combustion is also used as thrust, thanks to the specific round shape of the engine.
Over several sessions, the engine was tested for a total of ten minutes. “The RDRE produced more than 1,800 kilograms of thrust for a full minute and an average combustion chamber pressure of nearly 44 kilograms per square centimeter. This is the highest pressure level ever measured with this design,” NASA said.
The success of this test phase is a significant step forward for the future of space exploration. With the RDRE, NASA will be able to build more efficient and powerful rockets that require less fuel to travel longer distances. This new technology opens up exciting possibilities for human space exploration and paves the way for new discoveries in our solar system and beyond.