XCOR Aerospace, Inc. announced today that it has successfully completed its first series of tests on a new 56-pound thrust rocket engine. The engine, designated XR-3E17, is a direct
descendent of the company's XR-2P1 "Tea Cart" engine developed in 2000.

Although it weighs just half as much as its predecessor, the new engine has nearly four times the thrust of the 15lb thrust original. The regeneratively cooled engine, developed using private investor funding, is made of copper with a lightweight aluminum cooling jacket.

The XCOR XR-3E17 56lb-thrust rocket engine is shown here with a 6-inch rule for scale.
It weighs half as much and produces four times as much thrust as its predecessor.
(PRNewsFoto/XCOR Aerospace, Inc.)

"We are very pleased with the test results so far," said XCOR Chief
Engineer Dan DeLong. The engine tests took place at XCOR's facilities at Mojave Air & Spaceport in California, and consisted of several short engine firings. "This spark-ignited engine is capable of an unlimited number of starts and restarts," DeLong said. The new engine is fueled by a self-pressurizing propellant mixture of ethane and nitrous oxide.

The XR-3E17 engine could have a number of commercial and military
applications including use as reaction control system.