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Old 12-07-2015, 11:52 PM   #136
Pipcard
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 Kerosene and liquid hydrogen were good for optimizing performance (kerosene provided high thrust and high density for the initial launch, while liquid hydrogen had the higher specific impulse for upper stages in vacuum), but using a common propellant in all stages is more economical. Methane is a fuel that is in-between kerosene and liquid hydrogen in terms of specific impulse, density, and cryogenicity (because liquid hydrogen is hard to handle).
I had said this earlier before it was made clear that the second stage would still use liquid hydrogen fuel.

Another advantage of methane I read is that it is good for reusable engines (in this case, the air-recovery system) because it doesn't "coke" (leave residue on) the engine as much as kerosene-based engines.

Last edited by Pipcard; 12-08-2015 at 12:04 AM.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:02 AM   #137
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 Another advantage of methane I read is that it is good for reusable engines (in this case, the air-recovery system) because it doesn't "coke" (leave residue) on the engine as much as kerosene-based engines.
Generally, pyrolysis is not that much a problem for rocket engines, since it happens mostly during start-up and shutdown, when the engines are operating with fuel-rich.

Its true, Methane produces less soot than Kerosene, but the mechanism is the same. Also, it depends more on the quality of the fuel than on the type of hydrocarbon, since a major factor in the soot DEP formation are contaminations of the fuel. RP-1 is much better in that term than normal Kerosene or Diesel fuel... especially the cheaper Diesel fuels are pretty nasty.
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Old 12-08-2015, 12:15 AM   #138
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Which is why the BE-4 is running on high-purity methane.
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Old 05-11-2018, 11:51 PM   #139
Nicholas Kang
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Time to revive this thread!

ULA selects Aerojet to provide Vulcan upper stage engine


WASHINGTON — United Launch Alliance has picked Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RL10 engine to power the upper stage of its next-generation Vulcan rocket, the second such contract Aerojet has secured in as many months.

In a May 11 statement, ULA said it will use a new variant of the RL10, known as the RL10C-X, on the upper stage of the Vulcan. That version incorporates improvements, like additive manufacturing of engine components, to improve its quality and affordability.

The agreement continues a long relationship with Aerojet Rocketdyne, which also provides versions of the RL10 for the upper stages of ULA’s Atlas and Delta rockets. “We could not be more pleased to have selected the proven and reliable RL10 to power our Vulcan Centaur upper stage,” said Tory Bruno, president and chief executive of ULA, in a statement.

The agreement covers the delivery of engines over the next decade. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but ULA described the deal as a “competitive procurement.” “Key determining factors to our selection included price and delivery schedule,” Bruno said in the statement.

The agreement, Aerojet said in a separate statement, includes “a joint commitment to invest in next-generation engine development” by the companies, a reference to the RL10C-X.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:45 AM   #140
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What was the other choice?
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:05 AM   #141
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 What was the other choice?
BE-3U.

Personally, I think this is an effort to keep Aerojet Rocketdyne afloat and making engines.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:14 AM   #142
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ULA Preparing Proven Hardware and New Innovations for Vulcan: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019...ations-vulcan/
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