The SuperDraco is an advanced version of the Draco engines used by SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft to maneuver in orbit and during re-entry. SuperDracos will be used on Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of the vehicle’s launch escape system; they will also enable propulsive landing on land. Photo Credit: SpaceX
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — With the in-flight Crew Dragon abort test set to launch in less than an hour, let’s take a look into the incredibly powerful and spacecraft specific SuperDraco engine. The Draco thruster rocket engine is used to maneuver the Dragon capsule while in space and upon re-entry to Earths’ atmosphere. The SuperDraco is a much larger engine, delivering over 100 times the thrust of the Draco and is used to swiftly move the Crew Dragon away from the Falcon 9 stages in case of an anomaly with the rocket.
Draco thrusters are a part of a reaction control system, or RCS, a type of system found on spacecraft which use thrusters for attitude control and translation (translation is a one-to-one correspondence between two sets of point or a mapping from one plane to another). This system often utilizes both combinations of thrusters to achieve different levels or response on the spaceship.
There are 18 Draco thrusters on each Dragon spacecraft. They are situated across four pods, with two pods housing four thrusters and two pods the remaining five. Once the Crew Dragon separates from the rocket ship and reaches its intended orbit, the Draco thrusters enable the craft to continue to its destination, the International Space Station.
Today’s in-flight abort test will evaluate the redundant system of eight SuperDraco engines, which in addition to being a critical standby resource for every launch, would also provide the propulsive thrust for landing the passenger carrying craft during nominal (non-aborted) launches.
These thrusters use hypergolic propellants, which can be stored non-cryogenically – this allows the engines to be fired on command, months after fueling and launch.
Test mosaic of a SuperDraco pod, which will be used in the Crew Dragon spacecraft as a launch escape system as well as a propulsive landing system. The assembly includes two individual engines. Photo credit: SpaceX
Theresa Cross grew up on the Space Coast. It’s only natural that she would develop a passion for anything “Space” and its exploration. During these formative years, she also discovered that she possessed a talent and love for defining the unique quirks and intricacies that exist in mankind, nature, and machines. Hailing from a family of photographers—including her father and her son, Theresa herself started documenting her world through pictures at a very early age. As an adult, she now exhibits an innate photographic ability to combine what appeals to her heart and her love of technology to deliver a diversified approach to her work and artistic presentations. Theresa has a background in water chemistry, fluid dynamics, and industrial utility.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
document.getElementById(comment).setAttribute( id, a062f0045accd09a9cee26c3aa5396cf );document.getElementById(d6fdb4c9bf).setAttribute( id, comment );
Notify me of follow-up comments by email.
Notify me of new posts by email.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website, anonymously.
|cookielawinfo-checbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category Analytics.|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category Functional.|
|cookielawinfo-checbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category Necessary.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category Performance.|
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
Analytical cookies are used to understand how visitors interact with the website. These cookies help provide information on metrics the number of visitors, bounce rate, traffic source, etc.
Advertisement cookies are used to provide visitors with relevant ads and marketing campaigns. These cookies track visitors across websites and collect information to provide customized ads.
Other uncategorized cookies are those that are being analyzed and have not been classified into a category as yet.