During the tests, the XCOR team of Chief Engineer Dan DeLong, Chief Test Engineer Doug Jones, Senior Engineer Mike Valant and Systems Engineer Mark Street, demonstrated successive rounds of pumping liquid hydrogen at conditions relevant to a flight type multi-cylinder pump. Possible applications include pump-fed liquid hydrogen rocket engines for upper stages, on-orbit propellant transfer operations, and other cryogenic fluid management applications. A unique capability demonstrated during the tests was the ability to pump through cavitation events when liquid hydrogenreturned to partial gaseous form, a sign of robustness of the design to handle anomalous events that would cause other high performance pump schemes to cease operations.
Frank Zegler, Senior Staff Engineer in ULA's Advanced Programs group, commented, "XCOR is doing things with piston pumps that no one else has done."
"ULA has taken a very innovative and commercially focused approach for future technology insertion into their long range product planning roadmap, and XCOR is very pleased to support the ULA team by further enhancing and extending our technology to their unique needs for lower cost launch vehicles, new on-orbit applications and capabilities, and future deep space exploration systems," said XCOR President and Founder Jeff Greason.
XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson said, "ULA's use of our high performance, light weight cryogenic piston pump technology is very exciting and this effort is a demonstration of how a large and established aerospace company can effectively work with smaller, innovative New Space companies to improve the prime contractor's product lines while simultaneously helping to restore the second and third tier aerospace supplier base our country has lost over the last twenty years. We are very pleased and fortunate to have such a good long term partner in ULA."
XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave,