A version of this article appears in the May 5 edition of Aviation Week & Space Technology. Inside most liquid-propellant rocket engines is another rocket engine, a sub-combustor that blasts its incandescent exhaust into a pipe and then a turbine instead of shooting it directly overboard. The arrangement sounds like trouble and, all too often, has proven to be just that. But the great power of the gas from the sub -combustor is needed to drive the turbopump that feeds the main ...
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