Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"World's first battery-powered rocket" readied for launch

"World's first battery-powered rocket" readied for launch
Gizmag, 20 April 2015

Rocket Lab's idea for making a lighter, simpler liquid rocket is its Rutherford engine. Named after New Zealand-born physicist Ernest Rutherford, it's an electric turbopump engine that burns a mixture of liquid oxygen and RP-1 rocket fuel, which is a highly refined type of kerosene. Unlike conventional engines, in the Rutherford, the gas-powered turbine to run the pump is replaced with a brushless DC motor and lithium polymer batteries, and provides enough fuel for the Rutherford to generate 4,600 lbf (20,462 N) of thrust and a specific impulse of 327 seconds.

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