Return to Human Space Flight home page

Space Shuttle Main Engine Channel Wall Nozzle

Problem: The current tube wall nozzle production supportability is baselined to a design that has not been upgraded since program inception. As a result, the production costs and operational maintenance are labor intensive.
Solution: Upgrade the design to a channel wall configuration that is supported by repeatable fabrication processes. The new design would also address know safety and performance restrictions with a potential to also simplify the engine system. Production and operational costs are targeted to be less than half of the current nozzle.
Initial Operation Date: April 2004
Upgrade Phase III
Technology Goal: Channel wall technology is fully matured in Russian propulsion systems. A global partnership has been established to demonstrate the channel wall design, fabrication, and production process and its integration into the SSME are feasible for STS application. Design must demonstrate reusability and operability enhancements meet STS goals through engine development and certification testing. Channel wall technology is applicable for future US reusable propulsion systems (i.e. LFBB).
Goals Supported: 1) Fly Safely
2) Meet the Manifest
3) Improve Supportability
4) Reduce Cost
5) Support HEDS

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 04/07/2002
Web Accessibility and Policy Notices