Fastrac (rocket engine)
|Country of origin||United States|
|Application||small, cheap, expendable rockets|
|Propellant||LOX / RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene)|
|Thrust (vac.)||60,000 lbf (270 kN)|
|Isp (vac.)||314 s (3.0 km/s)|
|Length||2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)|
|Diameter||1.22 m (4 ft 0 in)|
|Dry weight||less than 910 kg (2,010 lb)|
Fastrac or alternatively MC-1 engine was a pump-fed liquid rocket engine developed by NASA for use on small inexpensive, expendable rockets. Fastrac uses RP-1 kerosene and liquid oxygen as propellants in a gas-generator power cycle.
Ignition of engine was achieved via starter fluid injected into combustion chamber before kerosene was fed.
Propellants are fed via a single shaft, dual impeller turbo-pump.
Engine system development testing of the MC-1 began in 1997  and continued until the Fastrac program was cancelled 2001, 48 tests were conducted on three engines using three separate test stands.
MC-1 later designation
After the cancellation of the FASTRAC program[when?] NASA tried to salvage this design for use in other rockets such as Rotary Rocket's Roton and Orbital's X-34 project. The designation of the rocket engine was changed from the Fastrac 60K to MC-1.
The basic principles of the Fastrac design (namely, a pintle injector and ablatively cooled chamber) lived on in SpaceX's Merlin 1A engine, which used a turbopump from the same subcontractor. The Merlin-1A was somewhat larger engine with a thrust of 77,000 lbf (340 kN) versus 60,000 lbf (270 kN) for Fastrac. The same basic design was capable of much higher thrust levels after upgrading the turbopump. The latest variants of the Merlin-1D achieve 185,500 lbf (825 kN) of thrust as of April 2016, but is a regeneratively cooled engine.
- Vacuum thrust: 60,000 lbf (270 kN)
- Vacuum specific impulse: 314 s (3.0 kN·s/kg)
- Chamber pressure:
- Total mass flow: 91.90 kg/s
- Gas generator pressure: 39.64 bar
- Gas generator temperature: 888.89 K
- Throat diameter: 0.22 m
- Fuel: RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene)
- Oxidizer: Liquid oxygen
- Merlin (rocket engine) SpaceX booster engine
- Kestrel (rocket engine) SpaceX small upper stage engine for Falcon-1
- RD-180 RP-1 engine currently used in the US
- RS-27A RP-1 engine currently used in the US
- RD-191 contemporary Russian RP-1 engine
- NK-33 record setting RP-1 engine, Soyuz 2-1-v first stage and used by Orbital Sciences in the Antares 100-series launcher
- F-1 (rocket engine)
- Executor (rocket engine)
- Systems Analysis of a High Thrust Low-Cost Rocket Engine (PDF)
- NASA Solutions - Fastrac
- 40K Fastrac II Bantam Test
- Development Status of the NASA MC-1 (Fastrac) Engine (PDF)
- Barber-Nichols, Inc turbopumps
- SpaceX CASSIOPE Mission Press Kit (Sept 2013) pg. 10 (PDF)
- Ballard, R.O.; Olive, T.: Development Status of the NASA MC-1 (Fastrac) Engine; AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 2000 Huntsville, AL, AIAA 2000-3898