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A project to design, build and test a regeneratively-cooled bipropellant rocket engine
Group Members
Leon Aristou Chris Cockbain James Patterson, Cristian Rotundu, Mathieu Soulard, Chris Tacon, Ananthan Vivagandan, Karolina Zatorska
Professor Anthony J Musker, Dr Charlie Ryan
Project Sirius was founded by Professor Antony Musker in response to the UK Government’s intention to build a spaceport in the British Isles. Project Sirius aims to design, build and test a low-cost, three stage rocket to launch small satellites from this space-port. The present GDP project, one of several related projects in the coming years, has focused on designing and building the third-stage engine for the Sirius vehicle. The project marks the first time a 3D printed, regeneratively cooled bipropellant rocket engine has been designed and built at undergraduate level in the UK.

The lower section of the third stage engine, encompassing the combustion chamber, nozzle and cooling channels, is 3D printed from Inconel 625, a high-performance Nickel superalloy. Other parts were 3D printed from stainless steel 316. The remaining components including the decomposition chamber, oxidiser injector, and propellant feed systems were conventionally manufactured. Computational analysis was conducted to ensure that the engine can withstand the high temperatures and stresses expected from the combustion process and supersonic flow. Multiple iterations were created, resulting in an optimised design. In addition, a novel oxidiser catalyst, PX2, (delivered by a previous GDP group) was tested extensively to
The completed rocket engine
Stress and thermal computational analysis
temperature distribution over the length of the inner and outer nozzle
Surface scan of a 3D printed test piece
An exploded view of the rocket and its components