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Shelley Pierce -
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Shelley Pierce - Special Features Editor TechDirections Magazine
Editor Techknow Project
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The Aerospike Engine
Aeronautical engineers have spent 67 years trying to perfect this technology
(Published December 2017 in TechDirections Magazine)
Aerospike is the world’s first
SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) rocket
     The Aerospike SSTO rocket engine, see photos, is a major breakthrough for the future of space travel. It can perform at sea level just as efficiently as it could perform in space on a trip to the moon or Mars.
     Many technological breakthroughs only come after repeated laboratory or prototype failures. Seventeen Years ago NASA released a fact sheet about a new type of rocket engine they were trying to develop with Lockheed Martin, which could eliminate the need to use booster rockets to launch satellites and people into space. This engine concept that they then hoped to perfect was first proposed back in the 1960s by Rocketdyne, then a division of Boeing.
     Instead of confining the exhaust gases by a conventional bell shaped nozzle an aerospike uses the changing air pressure of our atmosphere, from the ground to space, to partially control the shape of the expanding gases that push the rocket forward.
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