Design & Analysis of a 500 LBF Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Methane Rocket Engine

Daniel Vargas Franco, University of Texas at El Paso


The rapid growth in demand for spacecraft technologies has spawned a need for a variety of new and innovative research. The utilization of liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid methane (LCH4) in rocket engines have played an important role in space exploration efforts to promote missions to Mars with in-situ resource utilization for propellant production. This will allow the production of fuel needed to come back to Earth making the overall mission more cost effective by enabling larger usable mass. ^ The Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research has focused its efforts to developing Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Liquid Methane (LCH4) propulsion technologies. The goal is to design, build, and test a 500 lbf throattleable (4:1) liquid oxygen and liquid methane rocket engine. Many iterations of this engine were developed taking into consideration many variables that are present in the design of rocket engines such as combustion instabilities, oscillatory combustion, stress, pressure, and fatigue. This thesis describes the design process, analysis, and decision making behind the design changes of this engine and plans for future development. It will be designed, built, and tested by cSETR. The end goal of CROME is to be the main propulsion engine for Daedalus suborbital flight vehicle and fire in space to obtain performance data of this propellant combination.^

Subject Area

Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Vargas Franco, Daniel, "Design & Analysis of a 500 LBF Liquid Oxygen and Liquid Methane Rocket Engine" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10743689.