Prof. Zack Cordero hosts workshop on materials challenges in reusable liquid-propellant rocket engines

This summer, Prof. Zack Cordero hosted the 2nd annual workshop on materials challenges in reusable liquid-propellant rocket engines. There were 60 attendees with equal representation from academia (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lehigh University, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, The Ohio State University, UC Santa Barbara, The Johns Hopkins University, University of Leicester), industry (SpaceX, BLUE ORIGIN, Ursa Major, Agile Space Industries, and Relativity Space, among others), and government (Air Force Research Laboratory, United States Space Force, NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration).

The event built on the momentum of the first workshop, held in spring 2022, which highlighted acute technological challenges (e.g., oxidizer compatibility, combustor lifing) as well as more general issues (e.g., workforce needs, qualification of AM hardware) that have limited development of reusable rocket engines. This year featured more focused discussions on three key research opportunities:
(i) environmental degradation,
(ii) nozzle and combustor lifing, and
(iii) qualification of additively manufactured flight hardware.

The attendees are now promoting the transition of research developments into industrial practice and formulating technical objectives which will serve as a basis for future research programs.