Design of a 2000 lbf LOX/LCH4 Throttleable Rocket Engine for a Vertical Lander

Israel Lopez, University of Texas at El Paso


Liquid oxygen (LOX) and liquid methane (LCH4) has been recognized as an attractive rocket propellant combination because of its in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) capabilities, namely in Mars. ISRU would allow launch vehicles to carry greater payloads and promote missions to Mars. This has led to an increasing interest to develop spacecraft technologies that employ this propellant combination. ^ The UTEP Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) has focused part of its research efforts to developing LOX/LCH4 systems. One of those projects includes the development of a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle called JANUS. This vehicle will employ a LOX/LCH 4 propulsion system. The main propulsion engine is called CROME-X and is currently being developed as part of this project. This rocket engine will employ LOX/LCH4 propellants and is intended to operate from 2000–500 lbf thrust range. This thesis describes the design and development of CROME-X. Specifically, it describes the design process for the main engine components, the design criteria for each, and plans for future engine development.^

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering|Mechanical engineering

Recommended Citation

Lopez, Israel, "Design of a 2000 lbf LOX/LCH4 Throttleable Rocket Engine for a Vertical Lander" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10283859.