Country of originUnited States
ManufacturerNorthrop Grumman
Applicationlow cost throttleable booster engine
Liquid-fuel engine
PropellantLOX / RP-1 (kerosene)
Thrust (sea-level)4,900 kN (1,100,000 lbf)
Chamber pressure177 bar

The TR-107 was a developmental rocket engine designed in 2002 by Northrop Grumman for NASA and DoD funded Space Launch Initiative. Operating on LOX/RP-1 the engine was throttleable and had a thrust of 4,900 kN (1,100,000 lbf) at a chamber pressure of 17.7 megapascals (177 bar), making it one of the most powerful engines ever constructed.[1] [2]


The TR-107 was built[when?] by TRW following the successful conclusion of the development program for the TR-106 engine, a similar throttleable engine of about half the thrust burning LOX/LH2 instead of LOX / RP-1. Tom Mueller, then VP of Propulsion Development at Northrop, was project manager for both the TR-106 and TR-107 engines.

In 2002, Mueller co-founded SpaceX with Elon Musk and became the VP of propulsion[3] after cancellation of SLI program.[citation needed]


The engine used duct-cooling of the main combustion chamber and materials that would not interact with kerosene to minimize coking.[citation needed]

The duct separated the fuel from the chamber wall and allowed controlled cooling of the chamber to keep the temperature of the kerosene down. This approach simplified the engine in comparison with competing designs. By eliminating the regenerative cooling circuit, many large manifolds and associated plumbing were eliminated as well, reducing potential failure modes and improving engine reliability. The TR107 engine used oxygen-rich combustion (ORSC) products to alleviate soot build-up when running the turbo pumps. The goal of the development was to produce a large, low-cost, easy-to-manufacture booster engine.[2][4]


Northrop Grumman development of the TR-107 engine permitted consideration for potential use on next-generation launch and space transportation system.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Northrop Grumman Awarded NASA Contract for Next Generation Launch Technology". Primezone. May 5, 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "TR-107". Archived from the original on August 5, 2014. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "Tom Mueller Bio". SpaceX. Archived from the original on May 16, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014.
  4. ^ "TR107 Engine Component Technologies" (PDF). NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. November 2003. Retrieved May 22, 2014.

External links

  • Booster Engine Prototype Project: TR107 Engine Component Technologies
  • TR-107 Rendering with explanations