An S3 delegation visited the Samara factories of JSC Kuznetsov, one of the Russian aerospace industry jewels, which will provide S3 with the NK-39 rocket engines used for the SOAR suborbital shuttle. They were able to appreciate firsthand the work accomplished since the start of the collaboration announced last February.
After the signature of a memorandum of understanding during the Sochi winter Olympics, the work on the propulsion systems of the suborbital shuttle SOAR of S3 and its partner JSC Kuznetsov is starting off on solid footing. An S3 delegation, including Pascal Jaussi, founder & CEO, and Benoit Deper, Research & Development Director, was welcomed in Samara for an official visit in one of the factories where Kuznetsov propulsion systems are produced. They had the opportunity to inspect the future engines to power the SOAR: the NK-39. This model will be modified in order to meet the specific requirements of the mission. “It is an important day for us to be able to see and touch our first rocket engine after this initial phase of collaboration. This makes our project more concrete and I look forward to pursuing this fruitful collaboration” outlined Pascal Jaussi.
Pascal Jaussi, founder & CEO of S3, with Nikolai Ivanovich Yakushin, CEO of Kuznetsov, posing in front of the SOAR future NK-39 engines Credit : JSC Kuznetsov
“The choice of the NK-39 propulsion system, a highly reliable, robust and efficient rocket engine, was an easy one. These last months of collaboration reinforce this decision” said Benoit Deper. “Our engineers have worked together with their peers at Kuznetsov in order to outline the system requirements and the tasks related to engine modifications to be conducted, in order to facilitate their integration to our systems. This milestone in the propulsion-related work is now behind us and we are able to confirm our R&D timeplan.”
3D model of the propulsion systems integrated into the SOAR
The reputation of the rocket engines developed and manufactured by JSC Kuznetsov is indisputable; these engines are currently being used for the successful Russian Soyuz 2-1V and US Antares launchers. The company also specializes in aircraft engines, and they have experience in maintenance-related activities, which will be helpful in order to facilitate the SOAR operations. The goal is to now carry out a test-fire campaign of the SOAR propulsion systems during the second part of 2015.