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The hot firing on 18 February 2019 of a full-scale rocket thrust chamber assembly proves 3D-printing for an engine design destined for rocket upper stages, in-orbit transportation applications (kick-stages and space-tugs), microlaunchers, and exploration spacecraft such as a lunar lander and ascent stage on the Moon.
This Combustion Chamber demonstrator, with a reference thrust of 2.5kN, was hot-fired for 560 seconds at the DLR German Aerospace Center’s Lampoldshausen testing facility in Germany. The knowledge gained from this test campaign will be applied in turn to future engine designs to achieve a thrust range of about 2–10kN.
Developed within ESA’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme, this demonstrator helps to investigate flow and heat transfer phenomena on surfaces created by 3D printing – otherwise known as additive layer manufacturing.