Galactic Energy, a Chinese private space launch enterprise, announced on Tuesday that it has carried out a successful test run of its self-developed Welkin 50-ton reusable liquid oxygen/kerosene engine.
The firm pointed out that this operation was the first full-power test of the Welkin engine, aiming to verify start and shutdown timing, the feasibility of its system and structure, and the coordination of all assemblies. During the trial run, the engine and all affiliated components worked normally according to the predetermined program. The combustion was stable and the nozzle outlet flame was bright. The main parameters were consistent with the adjusted calculation values. When the engine was shut down according to the program, the entire operation had been completed successfully.
According to the firm, the results indicate that its liquid oxygen/kerosene engine, which has the largest thrust in China’s private commercial aerospace field, has officially entered the engineering development phase.
The Welkin 50-ton reusable liquid oxygen/kerosene engine with maximum thrust has been independently developed by the private aerospace company. It is also the first high-thrust liquid rocket engine with pintle injector technology produced in China. It has thrust variation capability and is the best choice for the vertical landing recovery of 200-300-ton liquid rockets.
In addition to pintle injector technology, the multiple counterflow vortex unique configuration gas generator, the coaxial double pump and the integrated design of multifunctional combination valve adopted by the Welkin engine are the first in China and leading in the world.
The success of this trial run provides support for the follow-up development of the “Pallas-1” medium-sized reusable liquid launch vehicle, and also lays a foundation for the business model of Galactic Energy.
Galactic Energy is the first private company in China to successfully launch rockets into orbit continuously, and also the first private company in China to enter the 500 km sun-synchronous orbit and realize the commercial launch of multiple satellites with one rocket.