More test firings of Orbex´s fully 3D-printed engines

With an engine testing programme that now spans more than five years, Orbex is well ahead in developing reliable, efficient, low-carbon rocket engines for use on our launch vehicle.

Our testing programme has expanded rapidly over the past two-three years as we moved away from simple tests using copper “battleship” engines, which were used to generate injection, ignition and combustion parameters, towards fully 3D-printed engines using regenerative cooling and in-house turbo pumps.

The move from simple ignition tests to fully regenerative systems capable of burning for full mission duration is a big step in complexity, requiring a more complex understanding of the operating environment, more sophisticated test sites, and numerous, very rapid iterations in design and production.

Engine firing Fathom 060422

This has meant a big upgrade to our testing sites in Scotland and Denmark, with two major expansions completed late in 2020 and early in 2021 to allow integrated stage testing and multi-engine testing.

Our engine testing programme is now focussed on maturation, with a systematic, end-to-end testing and inspection regime that see engines being tested regularly, delivering a wealth of data that matches the outputs from our innovative simulation toolchain almost exactly.