The competencies of the scientists of the Ural Federal University will be used in the development of the latest liquid-propellant rocket engine. Sixteen of these engines will be installed on a single-stage reusable launch vehicle. The project is being implemented within the framework of the Ural Interregional Research and Educational Center “Advanced Industrial Technologies and Materials”.
“Of course, we are interested in such cooperation with UrFU,” says Sergei Vaulin, Vice-Rector for Scientific and Educational Centers and Complex Scientific and Technical Programs of the South Ural State University. – First of all, such cooperation is possible in the field of materials science, mathematical modeling and energy. All these competencies will be in great demand in the implementation of this project. We are already successfully cooperating with a number of enterprises in the Sverdlovsk region – the Scientific Research Institute of Mechanical Engineering in Nizhnaya Salda and NPO Automatics. If UrFU, as well as the institutes of the Ural Branch of the Academy of Sciences, join the project, the effect of cooperation will be colossal ”.
At the moment, work on the creation of a rocket engine is being carried out at SUSU. Laboratories of micropowder technologies, impulse systems and high-speed processes, as well as the educational and research laboratory complex “Liquid rocket engine”, in which the engine is tested, its parameters are worked out and optimized, are connected to the Korona project.
During a press tour organized on the eve of SUSU and UrFU, journalists were shown the launch of a liquid propellant rocket engine. Process control is provided by a video surveillance system, with its help, the complex nodes are controlled and its operating mode is debugged.
The official name of the project Korona is “Research, development and creation of demonstrators of a propulsion system with a central body, an artificial intelligence control system of a rocket and space complex with a fully reusable single-stage launch vehicle and a universal space platform.” Currently, an application for a patent is being processed.
Unlike most multistage rockets in use today, Korona will have many advantages.
“Now spacecraft return to Earth in parts, some do not return at all,” says Sergei Vaulin. – And our single-stage reusable rocket will fully return. At the same time, due to repeated use, the delivery of one kilogram of cargo to the near-earth orbit will be much cheaper.”
Thus, in the global market, the Ural REC project will compete with the solutions of SpaceX. In addition to the economic, the project also has an environmental component: the engine will operate on a fuel mixture of oxygen and hydrogen. Its feature will be both high efficiency and non-toxicity of the mixture and its combustion products.
Now the engine model runs on fuel, which consists of liquid ethyl alcohol and oxygen gas. A demonstration launch of a multi-chamber propulsion system is planned for September. As early as next year, the developers intend to switch completely to an oxygen-hydrogen mixture. Such fuel will make it possible to launch the rocket to an altitude of 500 km – the upper limit in which a manned orbital station can operate.
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