Augsburg, Germany, March 10, 2022 – The staged combustion engine of Rocket Factory Augsburg (RFA) is given the name “Helix”. This name was suggested by two fans from the USA as part of RFA´s #NameOurEngine campaign. Over 3,800 names were submitted, from which RFA selected its TOP 10 and put it to two public votes. “Helix” emerged as the winner of the final round with “Tycho”, “Fernweh” and “Daedalus”. A total of over 17,000 votes from all around the world were cast in both rounds.
This makes RFA the first company in the world to have its engine named by the public. The submitters were also able to provide a reason. In the case of Helix, the reason is that DNA has the shape of a helix. The DNA of the rocket is its engine, the entire rocket depends on it. It is what breathes life into the machine. Moreover, this gives new meaning to the phrase “Space is for everyone” because everyone is made of DNA.
About the Helix engine
Helix is a staged combustion engine, one of the most advanced engine types in the world. Unlike engines with an open combustion cycle, in RFA´s Helix engine the exhaust gases from an oxygen-rich preburner are fed into the main combustion chamber after driving the turbopump. The fuel is thus burned more completely, increasing Helix´s efficiency by 7%, which translates into 30% more payload capacity of the RFA ONE micro launcher. Staged combustion is also more environmentally friendly, as significantly fewer highly sooty exhaust gases are released into the atmosphere.
The Helix engine is operated with RP-1 as propellant and liquid oxygen as oxidizer, has a thrust of 100kN and an Isp of 325s (SL) / 350s (Vac). Nine Helix engines are used in the first stage, and one vacuum-optimized Helix engine in the second stage.
Dr. Stefan Tweraser, Chief Executive Officer of RFA, said: “We were overwhelmed by the many great submissions and appreciative feedback. Many people have really put a lot of thought and love into creative, beautiful, unusual and profound names and reasons. Helix is a beautiful name with a fitting meaning. We are proud to say that our Helix engine has been named by the public and will continue on this path of participation and open communication. “Space is for everyone” is not a phrase for us, we are tackling this adventure together as humanity”.
About Rocket Factory
Rocket Factory Augsburg was founded in 2018 with the mission to significantly reduce launch costs in the space industry. The company’s goal is to launch satellites into low Earth orbits on a weekly basis at unmatched prices. The launch system prototype under development shall be completed by the end of 2022. The RFA ONE launch service combines three key competitive advantages: A customer focused service with precise in-orbit delivery and a high degree of mission flexibility through its orbital stage, at a highly competitive price, made possible by superior staged combustion technology, industrial automation and low-cost structures.
Press Contact for RFA:
Mr. Jonas Kellner
Phone +49 821 999576-21
Rocket Factory Augsburg AG
Berliner Allee 65
Chairman of Supervisory Board: Jean-Jacques Dordain
Executive Board: Stefan Tweraser, Stefan Brieschenk, Jörn Spurmann
Place of jurisdiction: AG Augsburg, HRB 34251
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