Made in the USA

Summer 2016

A picture of a rocket engineThe U.S. Air Force has awarded two contracts totaling $1.48 million to the Energetics Research Group, based within the Whiting School of Engineering, to help set the stage for the next generation of U.S.-made rocket engines.

The funding will be used to reduce the risks associated with new technologies that may replace the Russian-made RD-180 engine. The RD-180 rocket engine carries communications satellites into orbit and delivers equipment to the International Space Station. However, U.S. officials are encouraging development of domestic-made high-performance rocket engines.

The new Air Force funding will be allocated over a two-year period linked to two separate contracts. Johns Hopkins is the only university to receive funding from the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s recent program, which granted 10 awards, totaling $34.6 million.

“These new awards position the Whiting School of Engineering for significant participation in the development and sound operation of the next generation of liquid rocket engines,” said Peter Zeender, director of the Energetics Research Group. “We are very excited for this opportunity to engage in research that will ensure the safe and efficient use of other liquid fuels in the next generation of rocket engines.”