SpaceX Completes Qualification Testing of SuperDraco Thruster

June 29, 2011 – 11:16 am

Thruster to Power Revolutionary Launch Escape System on Dragon Spacecraft

HAWTHORNE, Ca – Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) announced today that it has completed qualification testing for the SuperDraco thruster, an engine that will power the Dragon spacecraft’s launch escape system and enable the vehicle to land propulsively on Earth or another planet with pinpoint accuracy.

The qualification testing program took place over the last month at SpaceX’s Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. The program included testing across a variety of conditions including multiple starts, extended firing durations and extreme off-nominal propellant flow and temperatures.

The SuperDraco is an advanced version of the Draco engines currently used by SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft to maneuver in orbit and during re-entry. SuperDracos will be used on the crew version of the Dragon spacecraft as part of the vehicle’s launch escape system; they will also enable propulsive landing on land. Each SuperDraco produces 16, 000 pounds of thrust and can be restarted multiple times if necessary. In addition, the engines have the ability to deep throttle, providing astronauts with precise control and enormous power.

The SuperDraco engine chamber is manufactured using state-of-the-art direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), otherwise known as 3D printing. The chamber is regeneratively cooled and printed in Inconel, a high-performance superalloy that offers both high strength and toughness for increased reliability.

“Through 3D printing, robust and high-performing engine parts can be created at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional manufacturing methods, ” said Elon Musk, Chief Designer and CEO. “SpaceX is pushing the boundaries of what additive manufacturing can do in the 21st century, ultimately making our vehicles more efficient, reliable and robust than ever before.”

Unlike previous launch escape systems that were jettisoned after the first few minutes of launch, SpaceX’s launch system is integrated into the Dragon spacecraft. Eight SuperDraco engines built into the side walls of the Dragon spacecraft will produce up to 120, 000 pounds of axial thrust to carry astronauts to safety should an emergency occur during launch.

As a result, Dragon will be able to provide astronauts with the unprecedented ability to escape from danger at any point during the ascent trajectory, not just in the first few minutes. In addition, the eight SuperDracos provide redundancy, so that even if one engine fails an escape can still be carried out successfully.


Danetre Gifts 8" x 6" (20cm x 15cm) Mounted Art Print Dogs Prize Winners Vintage Image
Home (Danetre Gifts)
  • Image shown printed onto Somerset Advanced 225gsm archive quality art paper.
  • This is then mounted onto a cream coloured standard single mount.
  • A heavy card backing is then attached for extra rigidity.
  • Images may have to be cropped, trimmed, adjusted or otherwise altered to fit into the available space

You might also like:

5 Cool Easy Card Tricks for Beginner!
5 Cool Easy Card Tricks for Beginner!
Time Slime (Bravest Warriors - Ep. 1 Season 1 On Cartoon
Time Slime (Bravest Warriors - Ep. 1 Season 1 On Cartoon ...
Canadian Chris Hadfield blasts off into space for 3rd time
Canadian Chris Hadfield blasts off into space for 3rd time
Danetre Gifts 6" x 4" (15cm x 10cm) Art Greetings Card Horses Prize Winner 1 Vintage Image
Home (Danetre Gifts)
  • Image shown printed onto heavyweight Somerset Enhanced art card which gives the greetings card a lovely textured art card feel.
  • Blank inside for your own message or leave a note when you check out and we can print a message inside
  • Alternatively you can email a message direct to
  • Comes complete,cellophane bagged with an envelope.
  • Images may have to be cropped, trimmed, adjusted or otherwise altered to fit into the available space
Wallmonkeys Happy Kids Winners of Soccer Game with Prize Cup - 24"H x 16"W - Peel and Stick Wall Decal by Wallmonkeys
Home (Wallmonkeys)
  • Premium quality fabric material sticks to virtually any surface
  • Simply peel and stick; Remove and reuse up to 100 times
  • Made in the USA
  • Will not damage Your Walls; No sticky residue
  • Custom printed for you at time of order
Root Madness Tablets Smartphone Droid Free Games A Bingo Free Space Calls Satellite X Big Jackpot Bingo Free Game for Kindle 2015 Bingo Free Daubers Bingo Balls Offline Bingo Free Top Bingo Games
Mobile Application (Root Madness Tablets Smartphone Droid Free Games A)
  • Bingo Free Space Calls Satellite X Big Jackpot Bingo Free Game for Kindle 2015 Bingo Free Daubers Bingo Balls Offline Bingo Free Top Bingo Games is compatible with...
  • Play bingo offline free and go ahead and play whenever and wherever. You can have a crack at bingo offline whenever you want, without connection, no internet needed...
  • Expect to win big jackpots the minute you download as it challenges your bingo skills. Increase game speed with a few taps and slides and unlock exciting bingo joy...
  • Have a bash with your friends and speed up your bingo skills as you rush 2 the championship. As exciting as to spin the wheel of fortune while you win best top prizes...
  • Turn on the blitz and share with friends with a tap and amaze the with your discovery in real-time, win fast and easy bingo craze for the best bingo game experience...
  • Bust your bingo fever while you take on a journey, a wild trip to beaches around the world while you celebrate as you win big jackpots and toast your quick success!
  • Get this free bingo now and start feeling the rush today and take advantage and get it while its free. For now, the price is right where it needs to be!
  • Have fun with this bingo theme and prepare for more Las Vegas style bingo themes including Romance and Valentine s Day, Pharaoh s and Egypt pyramids, crazy fish...
  • Master this game and compare with social casino gamers and slotsgames players to all sorts of game lovers that like blackjack 21, solitaire, poker, lotto, bingo...
  • This is a fast and easy bingo that you will be able to play over and over for free making it the best bingo game ever to enjoy anywhere!
Women's Unique Julianne Moore T-shirt XS RoyalBlue
Sports ()
  • 100% Cotton Julianne Moore.
  • Machine Wash,No Shrinking.
  • Do Not Bleach. Tumble Dry Low.
  • Julianne Moore
  • White,Black,Orange,Gold,Pink,Red,Gray,Purple,Green,Blue Colors Available.

Related posts:

  1. SpaceX - Hawthorne ca
  2. Space x 1 Rocket Road Hawthorne ca
  3. SpaceX Rocket Bahamas Beach
  4. SpaceX Headquarters Hawthorne CA
  • avatar Why is NASA still using the space shuttle and rockets, instead of ships like that Ansari X-prize winner's? | Yahoo Answers
    • price and NASA has to do extensive testing and development to adapt the idea to their protocols they can't just say" great idea lets build it" it has to go through all the red tape. Remember NASA is a government agency after all, so it will never be fast. Besides think of all the contractors that have invested millions in the space shuttles, you change before the contracts are complete and either you pay huge penalties or you watch an enormous company with thousands of jobs go bankrupt.