Vinci (rocket engine)

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Vinci
Country of origin France
Designer Snecma
Manufacturer Snecma
Application Upper stage liquid rocket booster
Predecessor HM-7B
Status Under Development
Liquid-fuel engine
Propellant LOX / LH2
Cycle Expander cycle
Configuration
Chamber 1
Performance
Thrust (vac.) 180 kN
Chamber pressure 60.8 bar (6.08 MPa)
Isp (vac.) 465 seconds (4.56 km/s)
Dimensions
Dry weight

approx. 550 kg

without nozzle: 160 kg

Vinci is a European Space Agency cryogenic liquid rocket engine currently under development. It is designed to power the new upper stage of Ariane 5, ESC-B, and will be the first European re-ignitable cryogenic upper stage engine, raising the launcher's GTO performances to 12 t.

Overview[edit]

Vinci is an expander cycle rocket engine fed with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Its biggest improvement from its predecessor, the HM7B (which powers the ESC-A), is the capability of restarting up to five times. It is also the first European expander cycle engine, removing the need for a gas generator to drive the fuel and oxidizer pumps. The engine features a carbon ceramic extendable nozzle in order to have a large, 2.15 m diameter nozzle extension with minimum length: the retracted nozzle part is deployed only after the upper stage separates from the rest of the rocket; after extension, the engine's overall length increases from 2.3 m to 4.2 m.

Development[edit]

Although the ESC-B development was put on hold in 2003, the Vinci project has not been cancelled: at a lower pace, the engine is still being developed. On 22 December 2006, Snecma announced a new ESA contract for Vinci rocket engine long-duration and re-ignition testing. In late April 2010 the German Aerospace Center DLR announced the start of a six-month test campaign for the Vinci engine at its Lampoldshausen facility.[1] The first successful test firing of this campaign took place on 27 May 2010. The first flight test of the Vinci engine is not expected until 2016 or 2017.[2]

In 2014, NASA entertained the idea of using the Vinci instead of the RL10 for an upper stage of Space Launch System. The Vinci offers the same specific impulse but with 64% greater thrust, which would allow for a reduction of one or two of the four second stage engines for the same performance for a lower cost.[3][4]

See also[edit]

Comparable engines[edit]

References and notes[edit]

External links[edit]